Ameer Ali and Pratt, JJ.
1. The two petitioners before us were required under Section 110 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to enter into securities for good behaviour for the term of one year, or in default to undergo imprisonment for the same period. The charge which they were called upon to meet under that section is stated in the judgment of the Deputy Magistrate, namely, that they are thieves and dacoits by habit, and that they are desperate and dangerous to the community.
2. We have read through the judgments of the two Courts and examined the principal evidence upon which the District Magistrate as well as the Deputy Magistrate relied. The fact, which, according to the Deputy Magistrate, shows the dangerous character of these men is that which he mentions in his judgment, namely, that a search was made in Kalai's and Ghater's house in connection with a burglary in the house of a pleader of Khulna. No specific act is mentioned in either of the judgments to show that these men, to the knowledge of any particular individual, were dangerous and desperate characters. The charge under Clause (f), Section 110 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, cannot be proved by general reputation, but by definite evidence.
3. Clause (f) provides:
Wherever a Magistrate specially empowered in this behalf receives information that any person within the local limits of his jurisdiction 'is so desperate and dangerous as to render his being at large without security hazardous to the community,' such Magistrate may call upon him to execute a bond.
4. We have not been able to discover in these proceedings any evidence of that fact. And as regards the other allegation, viz., that these men were thieves and dacoits by habit, referring to the evidence of those who are stated to be respectable pleaders and Honorary Magistrates, we find that none of them know personally the individuals charged. They say that they have heard that these J men are thieves and dangerous characters, but when they are asked, if they know them personally, they answer in the negative, nor can they mention the people from whom they derived their information. In our opinion the evidence is not only such as cannot be safely acted upon, but it is also likely to work serious prejudice. If the men from whom these witnesses purported to derive their information were examined, it would be possible for the accused, to test their means of knowledge that they were men of bad character. General suspicion of this nature, however, is not safe to act upon.
5. Having regard to the nature of the evidence in this case, we are of opinion that the order, against the two petitioners cannot be sustained. We accordingly set it aside, and direct that the petitioners be discharged.