1. This is a Rule calling upon the District Magistrate and the opposite party to show cause why the case should not be transferred from the Magistrate who is trying the case to some other Magistrate competent to try the same.
2. The only ground which, in my judgment, it is necessary to consider in respect of this matter is that the petitioner has alleged that the Magistrate's brother has been active in certain electioneering matters and that the complainant has been closely connected with the Magistrate's brother in that respect, and that the Magistrate himself is assisting his brother in this electioneering chiefly by way of canvassing.
3. I am prepared to accept what the Magistrate has said in his explanation, and it must be clearly understood that the making of this Rule absolute does not cast any slur whatsoever upon the Magistrate or upon the conduct of the case by him. But it is clear that the petitioners have some apprehension that the Magistrate, perhaps unconsciously, may have some bias in favour of the complainant; and, the question which I have to consider is whether it is possible for me to say that apprehension is not reasonable. These questions, in my judgment, are always difficult because the matter does not depend upon the way in which I should regard it myself. I have to try and place myself in the position of the accused person; and, look at the matter from his point of view. Having regard to the matters to which I have referred, and looking |at the matter from the point of view of the accused persons, I am not prepared to hold that the apprehension, which they undoubtedly have, cannot be a reasonable one.
4. The result is that in my judgment this Rule must be made absolute and the case must be transferred to the file of some other Magistrate competent to try it. Such Magistrate will be appointed by the District Magistrate.
5. I agree.