1. In this case we think the Rule should be discharged.
2. We desire to point out that with regard to two of the convictions which the learned Magistrate considered as proved, they were not in our opinion proved in a proper way. But this matter does not affect our decision, because the learned Magistrate found upon the evidence that there was an overwhelming proof of the petitioner's bad repute as a thief, and further than that, that there were two convictions which were properly proved. Consequently, our decision is that this Rule should be discharged. But coming back for a moment to the two convictions which, in our opinion, were not properly proved, what happened, as far as I can understand was this. A finger-mark expert was called as a witness, and he examined certain finger prints of the accused taken in Court when the trial was proceeding. These finger marks were apparently put upon a piece of paper, which is Exhibit 18 Then was shown to the witness another paper, Exhibit 19, which contained certain fingerprints and also had a record of certain convictions which purported to be the convictions of this accused. Thereupon, the expert witness compared the marks of the fingerprints, which had been taken in his presence in the Court, with the fingerprints in Exhibit 19, which are said to be the fingerprints of the accused person, and finding them similar, that was taken as proof of the previous convictions of the accused. I, therefore, desire to point out in the plainest terms that this was not the proper way of proving the identity of a person who had been previously convicted. If the identity is going to be proved by such evidence as was given in this case, namely, the fingerprints, there ought to be evidence to prove, first, the similarity of the fingerprints of the accused taken at the trial with the fingerprints alleged to be those of the person previously convicted, and second, to identify the last-mentioned fingerprints as those of the person who has been previously convicted. In this case there was no evidence on the second point, and for this reason we think these two previous convictions were not properly proved. But as we have already said, that does not affect our decision in this case.
3. I agree.