1. The petitioner Thakar Das, filed a complaint under Sections 427 and 447, I. P. C. against the respondents in the Court of M. II. C. Joginder-Nagar. The complaint was to . the effect that the accused persons had grazed their cattle on the complainant's 'Ruta' measuring about 75 bighas in village Chharang, and thereby caused him wrongful loss to the tune of Rs. 100/-
The accused persons contended that the Ruta neither belonged to nor was in the possession of the complainant. The trial Magistrate found in favour of the complainant's version and accordingly convicted the accused under Section 427, I. P. C. and sentenced them to fines. On appeal by the accused, however, the District Magistrate, Mandi, differed from the findings of the Trial Court and came to the conclusion that the complainant was never in possession of the Ruta in question. Consequently, he set aside the conviction of the accused persons and acquitted them. Hence this petition under Section 417 (3), Criminal P. C. wherein I am requested to grant leave to the petitioner to file an appeal from the order of acquittal passed by the District Magistrate of Mandi.
2. I have heard learned counsel for the petitioner. He contended that the finding of the District Magistrate on the point of possession was erroneous, and has resulted in a miscarriage of justice. I was therefore, requested to grant leave for appeal. Mr. Sahni cited, inter alia--'Sham Lal v. Chaman Lal, AIR 1939 Lah 406 (A). Where Ram Lall J., observed as follows :
'If a Judge or the Executive Government find that an obvious error in a decision has been committed, whether the question involved is of greater or lesser public importance, a case of injustice is established and one in which it is the duty of Government to make an appeal.'
3. Reference was also made to--'Govt. of Mysore v. Malavalli Thimmah', AIR 1951 Mys 51 (B). Where a Division Bench of that High Court remarked that:
'The High Court will interfere with an acquittal in appeal preferred under Section 417, when the acquittal depends upon a mistake of law or clearly an unreasonable finding of fact.'
4. It seems to me that these rulings are not altogether applicable to the present case. Before this court would grant leave to the petitioner to file an appeal against the order of acquittal, it is incumbent upon him to show that a substantial question of law is involved or that the question involved is of great public or general importance.
Even if we assume for the sake of argument that the District Magistrate's finding on the point of possession is erroneous, (although, I express no opinion on this point), it cannot be said that it raises a substantial question of law. In the same way, the dispute over the grazing rights of this 'Ruta' cannot bo regarded as a matter of great public or general importance. It is obvious that the dispute can be finally adjudicated upon only by a Civil Court.
5. Under these circumstances, the leave prayed for cannot be granted.
6. The petition fails and is rejected.