1. This is an application .by the plaintiff for an order that the defendant, Ekraraul Huq, to allow Abdul Jubbar, the plaintiff's agent, to be present at the inspection directed by the order of the 20th February 1897.
2. The material portion of the order is as follows: 'And the applicant, his attorneys and agents, are to be at liberty to inspect and peruse the documents so to be produced and left and to take copies and abstracts thereof and extracts there from as the applicant shall be advised.'
3. It is contended, on the part of the plaintiff, that the words of the order leave the Court no discretion, and that Abdul Jubbar is a person who answers to the description of the word 'agent' as used in the order.
4. It is admitted that Abdul Jubbar was originally a servant of the defendant Ekramul Huq, and that he continued in his service until some time after the date of the order for inspection, and that up to his discharge some time in 1897 he was employed as an accountant and had charge of the books of the defendant Ekramul Huq. It appears to me that the words 'attorneys and agents,' as used in the order for inspection, should be read in such away as would give the Court some sort of control over the persons taking part in the inspection of documents directed by the order. I think it is clear from the authorities cited that similar words are interpreted by the Courts in England in a restricted sense which permits the exercise of such control.
5. In accordance with these authorities the words 'attorneys and agents' should be read as referring either to the applicant himself or to persons who stand in his position with reference to the suit generally. It is to be observed that in allowing a party to inspect, the Court gives him a privilege of a very important character, and it is the duty of the Court to see that the privilege is not exercised so as to operate prejudicially against his opponent.
6. It is said that to read these words in the exclusive sense contended for would render it impossible for inspection to be conveniently obtained in this country; but I think the Courts in this country, in permitting servants or agents of parties, other than those strictly falling within the words of the order, to take part in the inspection, would be disposed to exercise a reasonable discretion and would not prevent a party from employing a servant for the purposes of the inspection unless it was shown that there was some sufficient ground of objection as against him.
7. It appears to me that the person whom it is proposed to employ in the present instance does not come strictly within the words of the order, and that the Court would be entitled to exercise a discretion in permitting him to act for the plaintiff in the matter of the inspection.
8. That being so, the question is whether the objection made as regards Abdul Jubbar is a reasonable one. It is, I think, something more than a mere sentimental objection. It is to be remembered that serious allegations are made against this person by the defendant Ekramul Huq; and, though I say nothing as to the truth of these allegations the admitted circumstances under which he left the service of the defendant and entered the service of the plaintiff are such as would expose him to a strong temptation to take undue advantage or make improper use of the knowledge be had gained while in the defendant's employ if he is permitted to take part in the inspection.
9. I think, therefore, I ought not to compel the defendant to admit Abdul Jubbar to the inspection, and the present application must be refused with costs.