1. This is a Reference under Section 14(b), Legal Practitioners Act, made to this Court, by the learned District Judge of Burdwan, recommending the suspension of a Pleader practising at Katwa, for one year, on the ground that the pleader was guilty of grossly improper conduct in the exercise of his professional duties. It appears that the pleader was charged by the Sub-divisional Magistrate, Katwa, for having falsely told one Bazrang Lal Marwari that the Sub-divisional Officer, Katwa, had ordered that 'the goods be sent to the person they belonged to,' in respect of twenty-three tins of ghee which the Katwa Municipality had impounded as being adulterated, and which had been kept in the custody of the said Bazrang Lal Marwari by the Municipality, and Bazrang Lal Marwari had sent the ghee back to the person to whom it belonged, by relying on the said false statement of the pleader. An inquiry into the charge was made by a Magistrate in which inquiry evidence was taken. On the materials placed before the inquiring Magistrate, he came to the conclusion that the allegation against the pleader had been proved. The report of the Magistrate was in due course placed before the District Magistrate of Burdwan as required by law; and the District Magistrate held that the conduct of the pleader was most reprehensible, and was of opinion that action should be taken against him under the Legal Practitioners Act. The record of the case was thereupon sent to the District and Sessions Judge of Burdwan for taking necessary action. The District Judge accepted the conclusions of the inquiring Magistrate and the District Magistrate, and has reported the case of the pleader to this Court for such action as this Court might think fit and proper, with the recommendation for suspension of the pleader, as mentioned above.
2. It was argued on behalf of the Pleader that the evidence in the case was wholly insufficient to substantiate the charge against the Pleader. The relevant portions of the evidence on the record was placed for our consideration by the Advocate representing the Pleader. On careful consideration of the materials on the record, we are unable to hold that the conclusion arrived at by the Magistrates and the learned Judge, that the Pleader had given his client the false information that the Sub-divisional Magistrate had ordered the tins of ghee to be sent back to the person they belonged to; that the Sub-divisional Magistrate had permitted the disposal of the tins of ghee, which were the subject-matter of a charge under Section 16(1)(c), Bengal Food Adulteration Act, is wrong. In our judgment, the pleader concerned was guilty of fraudulent or grossly improper conduct in the discharge of his professional duty, as contemplated by Section 13(b), Legal Practitioners Act. In view of the facts and circumstances appearing from the materials on the record, we have come to the decision that an order of suspension of the pleader for the period of three months will sufficiently meet the justice of the case before us; and we direct accordingly.