1. This Rule was issued on ground 1 stated in the petition and is directed really against the order of the appellate Court confirming the conviction and sentence of the petitioners under Section 379, I.P.C. The complaint is that the Additional District Magistrate was not justified in not giving any reason for dismissing the appeal summarily and further that the appeal should not have been dismissed summarily as the defence raised a question of the right of the accused in the disputed land from which paddy was cut. The defence of the petitioners was that they were in possession of the plot in dispute and that they cut away ripe paddy grown by them and that the opposite party at the instigation of his brother Serajul Huq started a false case solely with the object of creating false evidence in support of his title to the land to which neither Serajul nor his wife had any share. Causa has been shown in this Rule by Mr. Talukdar and he contends that it is not necessary for the appellate Court in rejecting an appeal summarily to record any reason.
2. It appears to me however that where a particular judgment or a particular conviction and sentence is liable to revision the Court should record shortly its reason for rejection. It was pointed out in a Full Bench case of the Allahabad High Court, Queen-Empress v. Nanuha (1895) 17 All 241, that it was advisable for a lower Court whose order may be challenged by an application for revision to record something which might be a guide to the Court acting in revision. There is some conflict of opinions so far as this point about the necessity of recording reasons is concerned. In the case of Rash Behari Das v. Bal Gopal Singh (1894) 21 Gal 92 it was held that on rejecting an appeal under Section 421, Criminal P.C., the lower appellate Court need not give its reasons for the decision. A similar view was also taken in Bombay: see the case of Queen-Empress v. Warubai (1896) 20 Bom 540. On the other hand in the case of Ekkowrie Mookerjee v. Emperor (1905) 32 Cal 178 it was held that an appellate Court without going to the length of writing an elaborate judgment should in deciding a criminal appeal notice briefly but clearly the objections urged in appeal, and how they were disposed of. Notwithstanding the provisions of the statute it is desirable as I have stated that a final Court of facts should record concisely some reason in order to enable the Court in revision to appreciate the final findings of the lower appellate Court on facts and to see if any question of law arises on those findings. In this Court it has been pointed by Holmwood and Ryves, JJ., in the case of Ramtohal Dusadh v. Emperor (1909) 36 Cal 385 that both in this province as well as in the United Provinces the practice in the mofusil is that appeals are admitted without any hearing except on the question of bail, the only cases which are usually dealt with under Section 421, Criminal P.C., being jail appeals.
3. It seems to me that this practice is a practice which cannot be defended regard being had to the plain provisions of Section 421, Criminal P.C. The real test in a case of this kind is to consider whether in the particular circumstances of a case where questions of title to immovable properties are raised by the defence the lower appellate Court will be justified in rejecting an appeal summarily without recording its findings on the defence and without considering the defence which may have some bearing on the question of dishonest intention necessary to sustain a conviction for theft. In my opinion it will not be justified; and that is the present case. In these circumstances this Rule is made absolute and the case sent back to the District Magistrate in order that he may re-hear the appeal in accordance with law and dispose of it after recording reasons for his decision.