1. The facts connected, with this Rule, shortly stated, are as follows:
There was a fight on the 20th of November, 1922, between two parties, namely, Garibulla and his men on one side and Painuddin and others on the other side. Both parties instituted criminal cases in Court, having first made reports at the thana soon after the occurrence on the 2lst November 1922. The petitioner, Garibulla, complained before the Sadar Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Dinajpur against Painuddin and certain other persons. This complaint was referred to the Police for investigation on the 2nd December, 1922. Painuddin lodged a complaint in Court against Garibulla and this also was referred to the Police for enquiry and report. The Police sent in two reports. The correctness of the report sent in the case of Giribulla was challenged by the latter. Thereupon, it appears, the partias were asked to prove their respective versions of the two cases. On the 22nd December, 1922, one Mainulla complained before the Sadar Sub-Divisional Officer against the petitioner Garibulla. Garibulla adduced evidence in his own case and Painuddin also adduced evidence in his own case. The procedure which was adopted by the Magistrate, it appears, was this, i.e., the hearing of the two cases was taken up simultaneously and the evidence adduced in one case was considered in dealing with the case brought by the other party. That this was the procedure which was virtually adopted is not disputed. Garibulla's case was dismissed under the provisions of Section 203 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. In Painuddin's case the charge has been framed, and in Mainulla's case it is said that seven prosecution witnesses have been examined.
2. Now, there can be no doubt that the procedure referred to above was irregular; we are of opinion that the two cases should not have been heard at one and the same time and the Magistrate was wrong in considering the evidence in one case for the purpose of coming to a conclusion in the other. It follows, therefore, that in circumstances which have happened, the order passed in Garibulla's case under Section 203 of the Code of Criminal Procedure must be set aside. That case will be kept pending for the present.
3. We think the Magistrate should finish the case instituted by Painuddin, in which a charge has already been framed. After that case is finished, the Magistrate will pass orders in the case of Garibulla, in which we have just set aside the order of dismissal.
4. The Rule is accordingly made absolute in the light of the remarks made above.