1. It appears that in connection with a civil suit pending in the Court of the Subordinate Judge at Burdwan the plaintiff Srishtidar Mullick was appointed a Receiver. One of the properties in respect of which the Receiver was appointed was a ferry at Sutraghat. The Receiver met with opposition in getting possession and ultimately on the 11th November 1918, Mr. K.B. Mullick, Sub-Divisional Officer of Kalna, passed an order under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code directing the petitioners 'to abstain from going either to ply any ferry boat or to erect any bund on the khari at or near Sutraghat and also from obstructing, Srishtidar to ply a ferry boat or to erect a bund over them.'
2. This order seems to have been duly served on the petitioners, who were the second party in that proceeding. Subsequently there was a report by the Police that the petitioners had disobeyed the order under Section 144, and on receipt of this report the Magistrate on the 4th January 1919 directed the issue of process against the petitioners to answer to a charge under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
3. This Rule was issued calling upon the District Magistrate and Srishtidar, the Receiver, to show cause why the order directing the issue of processes should not be set aside on grounds Nos. 1, 4 and 5 mentioned in the petition.
4. It is dear that no Magistrate was competent to take cognizance of the case except in accordance with the provisions of Section 195, Criminal Procedure Code, and that Mr. Mullick, whose own order was disobeyed, was not competent to try the case (Section 487, Criminal Procedure Code). The point is not disputed and the Rule is made absolute on this ground alone.
5. It will however, be still open to the Magistrate to consider whether it is a fit case for grant of sanction under Section 195.
6. It has been brought to our notice that the Police, purporting to act under the authority of the order passed by the Magistrate under Section 144, broke down a causeway which had been erected by the petitioners themselves before that order was passed. It will be for the Magistrate to consider whether this action of the Police was or was not justified, and whether under the circumstances it is desirable to take any further action against the petitioners.