1. We think that this Rule must be made absolute on the first ground on which it was issued, namely, that the proceedings are premature. The Police report upon which they are based mentions 17 cases in which the accused has been suspected to have taken part, and eight of those eases, or nearly half, we are surprised to find, took place during the period when he was previously furnishing security. Then there are four cases in which the Police reported that he has been known to have taken part. All four of these cases took place during his previous terms of security, and it is upon these 12 cases with 9 other cases, which occurred in April, May and June and August 1911, that he is now being arraigned, and the proceedings state that this report makes it appear to the Magistrate that this man is by habit a thief and house-breaker by night and that he habitually commits extortion and offences involving a broach of the peace. As far as we can see there is no hint of extortion or any offence involving a breach of the peace in this list of cases, and the allegation that besides committing burglary and theft he satisfied his ends by force of lathis is extremely vague. Of course when he has had time to show that he has formed the habit of theft and house-breaking by night with extortion and offences involving n breach of the peace since the beginning of January, 1911, then on materials confined to the period after his release from his last security proceedings could, if necessary, be taken under Section 110 against him. But these proceedings must be confined to facts and circumstances alleged against him after his release from his last security, and to import anything before, as evidence of habit, would be to lay down that having once been called upon to furnish security lie could always on the name evidence be made to continue that security from one term to another. That certainly is not the law.
2. The principle on which these cases should be tried is laid down in Junab Ali v. Emperor 31 C. 788 : 8 C.W.N. 909 : 1 Cr. L.R. 801. We do not mean to lay down in any particular case or in this case that 15 months is or is not a sufficient period to give a man a locus poenitente. That is not the question. In the particular case there reported the Judges held that this man had not had a sufficient locus poenitente. But this is probably due to the fact that during the 15 months since he came out of jail there was very little to show that lie had continued in his evil courses. But what they did find was that the evil reputation which he had before his imprisonment had still followed him and permeated the evidence of many of the witnesses, and tins is what must be avoided. No prejudice can accrue to the petitioner from anything which he is alleged to have done prior to the beginning of 1911, and, therefore, we think that these proceedings taken in October 1911 were premature.
3. If the District Magistrate is of opinion that there is evidence that this man has became a habitual thief and house-breaker since 1st January 1911 and is now a dangerous character from whom security is required, it will be open to him to take proceedings against him. But in that case we think the District Magistrate should himself have the matter enquired into at his own headquarters rather than at Siwan, as it is perfectly clear that the moving spirit in this and other cades are the local zemindars of the Siwan sub-division.
4. The Rule made absolute and the proceedings of the 11th October 1911 are sat aside.