1. This Rule was issued at the instance of an accused who has been convicted under section 424 of the Penal Code by a Second Class Magistrate of Jalpaiguri and sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 100/- in default, rigorous imprisonment for one month. An appeal was dismissed by the Deputy Commissioner of Jalpaiguri, as the District Magistrate.
2. The complainant alleged that paddy was removed with a dishonest intention by the accused who was cultivating the land as an 'adhiar.' On the facts, the court has, after considering all the materials, pointed out that the removal was dishonest. I have not been shown any reason why the finding arrived at on the grounds mentioned by the court should not be accepted. Therefore as there was dishonest removal, the court considered that section 424 of the Penal Code was satisfied.
3. The main contention was that in view of the West Bengal Act, II (2) of 1950, known as the West Bengal Bargadars Act 1950, the proceedings under section 424 of the Penal Code could not be entertained by a criminal court. First of all, the preamble itself shows that that Act has nothing to do with any action taken by the State against a citizen for violation of its criminal law. It is an Act to settle disputes between owners and 'bargadars' and not between the State and its citizens. It is also to deal with certain matters relating to Bhag Chasis Conciliation Board. Therefore from the very preamble itself, the Act has no application to a criminal matter in which the State at the instance even of an owner is prosecuting another of its citizens for violation of the ordinary criminal law of the land though such a citizen may hold the position of a 'bar-gadar.' My attention has been drawn to section 2 of the Act which uses the words 'suit or proceeding' but the proceeding must be one which comes within section 7 (1) of the Act and a criminal case under section 424 of the Penal Code has absolutely no connection whatever with any of the proceedings mentioned in section 7 (1)' of the Bargadars Act. As I have pointed out, the very preamble shows that the Act has no application to ordinary Criminal matters.
4. Under the circumstances, the Rule is discharged. The fine stayed may now be realised.