1. A criminal case against the petitioners is pending on the file of the Sub-Deputy Magistrate of Bishnupur (Babu K.C. Haldar), who disposed of another case, apparently relating to the same dispute between the parties on the 21st December 1908. This Rule is for transfer of the said case. Cause is shown by Babu Srish Chandra Chowdhury, Junior Government Pleader, and by Babu Jnanendra Nath Sarkar, Vakil.
2. The Rule was issued for the transfer of the pending case on the ground that the Sub-Deputy Magistrate had arrived at findings adverse to the petitioners in the case disposed of by him on the 21st December 1908.
3. Babu Dasarathi Sanyal, who appears in support of this Rule, has informed us that the Sub-Deputy Magistrate did not pay any heed to the telegram which was sent by him intimating the direction given by this Court to stay further proceedings. A supplementary affidavit, with the original telegram, has been put in, and the learned Vakil has called our attention to two cases in the Law Reports in which the learned Judges commented somewhat severely on the action of the Magistrate in disregarding a similar intimation, and, in both these cases, this Court held that the conduct of the Magistrate indicated clearly the bent of his mind and his bias against the accused.
4. If the Sub-Deputy Magistrate had really any suspicion or doubt in the matter, he might have asked the Muktear who made the application to verify the telegram and to satisfy him as to whether the learned Vakil in this Court was acting under instructions in the case We think that the Sub-Deputy Magistrate acted injudiciously in going on with the case on his file without paying any attention to the direction of this Court to stay proceedings.
5. The facts of the case are somewhat complicated but we do not think it necessary to go into details. We have already expressed our opinion in regard to the action of the Sub-Deputy Magistrate, and that would certainly justify us in directing the transfer prayed for, but it also appears to us on the papers that the two cases, are somehow or other connected, if not in fact, probably in principle. That being so, we think that the Rule should be made absolute in the following manner: That the case be transferred for disposal by any competent Magistrate, other than the present Sub-Divisional Magistrate, to be nominated by the District Magistrate of Bankura, or, in the alternative, that the District Magistrate do arrange to send some stipendiary Magistrate (from head-quarters to Bishnupur) who will dispose of the case according to law.
6. We make the Rule absolute and direct the records to be sent down at once.