1. The petitioner is the District Traffic Superintendent on the Eastern Bengal Railway at Dacca. He has been convicted under Section 342, I. P.C. and sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 15.
2. The finding of fact on which his conviction is based is that the complainant Sudhir Mohan Ghose and a companion of his. two school boys, were caught by the petitioner near the overbridge on the platform of the Mymensingh Railway Station and then taken to the exit gate and made over to ticket collector there. What followed after this is of no use so far as the questions before me are concerned. What preceded the event is relevant from the point of view of both the parties and the finding on that question, therefore, has also to be examined. The defence case was that the petitioner noticed the complainant amongst 5 or 6 persons proceeding towards the exit gate, and when he challenged the complainant he understood the latter to say in reply that he had no ticket, and as a train had just been in he asked the ticket collector to treat the complainant as one who had travelled without a ticket; that he noticed another boy with a bicycle and told the ticket collector to check his ticket also. The complainant's case was that the petitioner met him and his companion near the overbridge, having come up from behind, that the petitioner asked them for their tickets, and notwithstanding that the complainant replied that they would be travelling by the train which had just come in and were going to purchase their tickets the petitioner seized their hands and dragged them to the ticket collector and asked him to realize the fare from the starting terminus Naraingunj up to Mymensingh.
3. Of these rival versions it is the complainant's story substantially which the learned Magistrate was prepared to accept. He accepted the evidence to the effect that the complainant and his companion entered the platform from the western extremity and entry into the platform from that side was prohibited. He, however, dealt with the case on either footing and held that even on the assumption that they came by the train and the petitioner arrested them after questioning the complainant whether they had tickets or not and after hearing what the complainant told him, the legal consequence was the same.
4. Against the conviction several grounds have been urged and it would be convenient to deal with them one by one.
5. The first ground is to the effect that the petitioner may have been mistaken in fact. In my opinion it is possible that he did make such a mistake and that he bona fide believed that the complainant and his companion were either trespassers or that they had alighted from the train and were attempting to evade the checking. This is the most favourable view that may be taken of the petitioner's acts and it will be reasonable and fair to deal with the case on that footing.
6. It is next said that Section 79, I.P.C. protects the petitioner. But mistake on his part will not protect the petitioner unless he is able to establish that the facts that he assumed would justify him in catching the hands of the complainant and his companion and thus taking them from near the overbridge to the exit gate. Section 122, Railways Act, would make the entry punishable if it was unlawful (Cl. 1) and a refusal to leave the premises on being requested to do so after an unlawful entry would aggravate the trespass (Cl. 2). Section 113 would justify the charging of the requisite fare in the case of travelling without a pass or ticket or with insufficient pass or ticket or beyond the authorized distance. To justify an arrest, however, without a warrant, much more than trespass or travelling without ticket would be necessary. In the case of trespass, it will have to be shown that there was reason to believe that the person to be arrested would abscond.or that his name and address were unknown and he refused to give his name land address or that there was reason to believe that the name or address given by him was incorrect. In the case of travelling without ticket it will further have to be shown that there was refusal to pay the sum charged. None of these elements has been established in the present case.
7. Then it is said that it has been found that there was no protest by the complainant and that no force had to be used. This only means that there was submission to the. arrest and that does not detract from the petitioner's act or diminishes its legal effect. The complainant and his companion were made to go in a particular direction up to a certain point namely up to the exit gate. That the compelling of a person to go in a particular direction by force of an exterior will overpowering or suppressing in any way his own voluntary action is an imprisonment on the part ;of him who exercises that exterior will is a proposition that cannot be disputed : Paranlcusan v. Stuart 2 M.H.C. 396.
8. The other two arguments that have been advanced are that the offence if any, was too trivial and that good faith protects the petitioner. I regret I am unable to take such a view of the petitioner's act as would justify the application of Section 95, I. P.C.; and as for good faith, mens rea does not enter into this offence at all.
9. The rule is discharged.