Charles Chitty, J.
1. On the 18th December 1916 the petitioner, Prem Chand Gorai, filed a suit in the Small Cause Court at Midna-pore against Sonatan Shaba alias Sonaulla Saha to recover a sum of Rs. 497 for the price of goods sold and money advanced on an account between the parties. The suit was heard by the Subordinate Judge, Babu S.C. Chakravarti. From the record it appears that the plaintiff stated in exami-nation-in-chief that he paid an income tax of of Rs. 250. The Subordinate Judge in his judgment remarked that it was unlikely that the plaintiff as a Mahajan of standing would prefer a false claim for so small an amount as Rs. 497. There is nothing to indicate that this remark had a direct reference to the statement of the plaintiff regarding income tax, though of course that may have been the case. The Subordinate Judge passed a decree in favour of the plaintiff on 28th March 1917. On 30th March 1917 the plaintiff decree holder applied for execution, but the judgment-debtor's property was not attached and that execution case was dismissed in default of the decree-holder taking further action. Baba S.O. Chakravarti was then transferred, and on the 15th May 1917 the defendant applied to his successor, Babu H.K. Bose, for sanction to prosecute the plaintiff for perjury for stating that he paid an income tax of Rs. 250 whereas in fact he paid nothing at all. It is conceded that at the time in question the plaintiff was paying no income tax. The plaintiff, in reply, stated that his answer must have been incorrectly recorded and that what he said or intended to say was that his income was Rs. 250 a month and not that he paid an income tax on that amount. The proceedings being in a Small Cause Court the deposition of the witness was not read over to him, nor was he at all cross-examined in regard to this answer or his credit generally. The question of sanction was before the Subordinate Judge, Babu H.K. Bose, for close upon 7 months when on llth December 1917, after this inordinate delay, sanction was granted. An application to the District Judge to revoke it was rejected and the petitioner has now applied to us to exercise over revisiqnal powers and set it aside.
2. For several reasons I think that the Rule should be made absolute. In the first place, I think that there is reason to doubt whether the statement was made as recorded. The only evidence of its having been so made that could be at all relied upon is the Court record. It is obvious lhat oral statements of the opposite party such as appear in the affidavit now filed before us are of little value. The accuracy of the Court record is open to this comment that the deposition was not read over to the witness (it is true that the law dses not require it), and that the statement did not attract the attention of the cross-examining Pleader, and so the plaintiff had no opportunity of correcting it, if it was inaccurate. Secondly, it was not the trying Judge who thought that the plaintiff should be prosecuted. The matter was brought before his successor by the defendant, the unsuccessful party in the suit, and Babn H.K. Bose, after allowing the matter to drag on for nearly 7 months, has granted the sanction because the statement is false, without any consideration of the surrounding circumstances, of which indeed he was not in a position to judge. Thirdly, we find that in July 1917, the defendant filed a suit to set aside this decree. It appears to me obvious that this sanction, if granted, will be used by the defendant if terrorem, both as regards execution under the existing decree, and as regards the suit now pending. This appears to me to ba a case in which the personal element bulks largely, and I do not think that the Courts should assist the defendant by putting this weapon into his hands. In any view of the case I think that criminal proceedings should not be, allowed to commence until the decision of the defendant's suit. But I think that the interests of justice do not require the prosecution of the petitioner at all and I would, therefore, make the Rule absolute and revoke the sanction.
3. I think we should, at this stage, rely upon the presumption that the record is correct: but as it is now about a year since the evidence was given, and as I find, on examining the record, that the applicant for sanction was himself responsible for much of the delay that ocourred before sanction was granted, I agree in the order passed. When a person wants to prosecute criminally he must not be dilatory.