1. The applicant Mahommad Boyetulla was a witness on behalf of the prosecution in the case Emperor v. Taizuddin Mondal and Tura Sardar who were charged under Sections 46 and 61, Bengal Excise Act (Act 5 of 1909), in the Court of the Sub-Deputy Magistrate of Naogaon in the district of Rajshahi. On 22nd August 1929 these two accused persons were convicted on the charges under the sections I have mentioned read with Section 109, I. P.C., and sentenced to six months' rigorous imprisonment. From that conviction there was an appeal to the District Magistrate of Rajshahi which was dismissed. During the pendency of the appeal the Superintendent of Excise and Salt applied to the Sub-Deputy Magistrate on 5th December 1929 making a complaint against the present petitioner for having committed perjury in the course of the evidence which he had given in the case. On 1st October 1929 the Sub-Deputy Magistrate called upon this man Mahommad Boyetulla to show cause why he should not be proceeded against under Section 193, I. P.C. After that Mohammad Boyetulla filed an application for showing cause on 22nd October 1929. The Sub-Deputy Magistrate heard the pleader on behalf of Mohammad Boyetulla and he deferred his decision. On the next day, that is 23rd October, he made an order directing a formal complaint to be lodged against Mohammad Boyetulla. As a result of that order a prosecution was instituted against Mohammad Boyetulla under Section 193, I. P.C., in the Court of the Sub-divisional Magistrate of Naogaon. The case was adjourned on 21st November 1929, by reason of the accused having filed an application under Section 526, Criminal P.C., till 5th December 1929. In the meantime the accused filed an appeal against the order of the Sub-Deputy Magistrate and that appeal came on for hearing before the District Magistrate of Rajshahi, Mr. S. K. Ghose. He dismissed the appeal summarily on 22nd November 1929, and in doing so he made the following order:
Heard learned advocate. I distinctly remember hearing the appeal when the matter came up after the case had been disposed of by the lower Court. The petitioner was a prosecution witness in that case and I very clearly remember that in reading through his evidence I was struck with the mass of contradictory statements it contained, and I think I made a note of this in passing orders. I am not prepared to interfere at this stage, specially as the very matters that will be urged before me are the proposed subject of trial in the lower Court. Consequently this appeal is summarily dismissed.
2. It is against this order that the present proceedings are directed, and it is said on behalf of the applicant that the learned District Magistrate of Rajshahi was wrong in law in not fully hearing the appeal which was made to him against the order of the Sub-Deputy Magistrate. It appears from the order which I have just quoted that what the learned District Magistrate did was to act upon the knowledge which he had acquired while hearing as an appellate Court in the excise case. He had, according to his own view, been sufficiently informed of the evidence which this man Boyetulla did give, and he made this order upon that basis. He seems to have taken the view that it was undesirable that he should hear the matter any more because the matters which would be placed before him should more properly be discussed when the accused was actually put upon his trial. It was argued before us that an appeal under Section 476-B is of a different nature from ordinary appeals and that therefore the provisions of Section 421, Criminal P.C., did not apply. We are unable to take that view of the matter. The position seems to be this: that until Section 476-B was added to the Criminal Procedure Code by Act 18 of 1923, there was no right of appeal at all against an order made under the provisions of Section 476 and that the only remedy of an aggrieved person was to raise any question that he might desire to raise in a proceeding in revision. Then the right of appeal having been given by Section 476-B, we think that appeals under that section are subject to all the provisions applicable to criminal appeals as laid down in Section 419 and the following sections. That being so, it follows that the provisions of Section 421 apply to appeals of this description just as to ordinary criminal appeals. It was therefore open to the District Magistrate to have dealt with this matter summarily. But in this particular instance there seems to have been some irregularity in that the District Magistrate purported to be acting not on the materials before him in the appeal under Section 476-B, but in the light of what he himself had learnt in connexion with the appeal in the other case. Undoubtedly therefore there was some irregularity in the proceedings before the learned District Magistrate. We have however looked into the whole of the record in this case and we think, having regard to all the circumstances, that it is not a case in which we ought to interfere with the order made by the Sub-Deputy Magistrate. I have already said in previous cases of this kind that this Court ought to be very reluctant to interfere with the order of this character where the Court which makes the order seems to be fully conversant with all the facts of the case; and if this Court is satisfied from the materials before it that the case is one where there ought to be a prosecution it does not seem necessary or even desirable that we should send back the case to the Court which heard the matter on appeal merely because there has been some irregularity. We think that in the present instance there is a prima facie case against Mohammad Boyetulla for having wilfully given evidence some of which is untrue and therefore we are of opinion that it is expedient in the interest of justice that he should be put upon his trial to answer the charge under Section 193, I. P.C. We accordingly discharge this rule.
3. I agree.