1. These two references are made by the District Judge of Rajshahi under Section 14, Legal Practitioners Act, against 11 pleaders named in the proceedings practising in the Rajshahi civil Court. The ground on which the references are based is that they absented themselves from the Court on 6th May 1930, the day after the arrest of Mr. Gandhi and thereby brought the work of the Court to a standstill. The pleaders in explanation of their conduct say that they were hurt by the news of the arrest of Mr. Gandhi but on the day in question there was a general hartal in the town, there were no carriages available (they living at some distance from the Court premises) and that if they had attempted to attend Court there was risk of their being molested and socially boycotted. They also allege that there were no cases before the Court on that day in which they were engaged.
2. No evidence was adduced on either side. There is no proof that these pleaders were engaged in cases fixed for that day so as to bring this case within the decision in Emperor v. Rajani Kant A.I.R. 1922 Cal. 515. There is also no proof that the pleaders as a body conspired to boycott the Court so as to paralyze the administration of justice. It is possible that the excuses preferred by the pleaders were justified; and they individually abstained from coming to Court, though the result was that no pleaders except a few were present in Court on that day. We do not think we should hold any individual pleader liable under Section 13 (f), Legal Practitioners Act, unless it is positively established that his intention was to join in a boycott of the Court. In this case no evidence was given on either side and we have on the one side merely the fact that practically all the pleaders failed to attend the Court on that particular day and on the other side the statements of the pleaders concerned giving excuses for non-attendance. Even in those cases where the pleader gives as his reason the existence of the hartal it does not follow that he failed to attend owing to an intention to boycott the Court.
3. We do not accordingly propose to pass any order under Section 14, Legal Practitioners Act.