1. This, is a reference by the District Judge of Tipperah under the Legal Practitioners Act against Babu Jogendra Chandra Nandy, a Pleader of the Brahmanberia Bar.
2. It appears that one Susil Chandra Chowdhury, brother-in-law of Jogendra Chandra, was also a Pleader of the Brahmanberia Bar. He had a clerk of the name of Mohim Chandra Nath. In August 1915 Susil Chandra left Brahmanberia to practise at Habigunge in the District of Sylhet. It is stated that he had not then made up his mind whether he would practise at Habigunge permanently, and he left his cases in charge of his clerk Mohim Chandra. This Mohim Chandra, it is found, did not take out his 'card' as Pleader's clerk for the year 1915 and was, therefore, not authorized to act as Pleader's clerk in that year.
3. One Nabadwip Charan Baisnab, a client of Susil Chandra, complained before the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Brahmanberia that Mohim Chandra had, in collusion with Jogendra Chandra Nandy, received money deposited by his judgment-debtor Fakir Chand as the first instalment under an instalment-decree obtained by Nabadwip Chandra against Fakir Chand, and had not paid over the amount to him. Thereupon enquiries were made and the learned District Judge held the proceedings out of which this reference arises.
4. No evidence has been taken in the case and the learned Judge apparently has accepted the statement made by the Pleader Jogendra Chandra Nandy in his explanation. The learned Judge has held that Jogendra Chandra is not guilty of any charge of misappropriation, but that he is guilty under Section 13(a) of the Legal. Practitioners Act of receiving instructions from an unauthorized person. The Pleader, Jogendra Chandra Nandy, says that he was engaged jointly with Susil Chandra Chowdhury at the time of the institution of the suit but that his signature on the vakalatnama had not then been obtained, and that when Susil Chandra left Brahmanberia he, Jogendra, signed his name on the vakolatnama seeing that he was the only Pleader left to conduct the case. He further stated that he was not aware that Mohim Chandra had ceased to be a Pleader's clerk and as he had been acting as such clerk of Susil Chandra until August 1915 when the latter left Brahmanberia, he bona fide believed that he was continuing to act as Pleader's clerk, and had paid over the money to him.
5. But assuming all these statements made by the Pleader to be correct, which we must do in the absence of evidence to the contrary, there is no doubt that he has contravened the provisions of Section 13(a) of the Legal Practitioners Act. He ought to have taken care to inform himself whether Mohim had any authority to give instructions to him on behalf of Nabadwip Charan Baisnab. He has been guilty of carelessness in treating what Mohim told him as if it was instructions from Nabadwip. He has also contravened the provisions of Rule 45(e) of the General Rules and Orders of this Court. As, however, he has been acquitted by the learned Judge of the charge of misappropriation o money, there is no question of dishonesty against him. We discharge him, and at the same time severely censure him for what he has done.