DAS, J. -
(1.) ON an examination of the record of the case, Emperor v. Moula Bux and others, pending before Mr. B. K. Lai, a Magistrate ex -ercising first -class powers at Jamshedpur (C. B. Case No. 324A of 1947), a Bench of this Court issued a rule against the accused persons as also the Deputy Commissioner of Singhbhum, direct -ing them to Show cause why the order of the learned Magistrate, dated 15th September 1948, should not be set aside. The order of the learned Magistrate on that date was to the following effect:
Prosecution (Assistant Public Prosecutor) has filed a petition stating that he may be permitted to withdraw prosecution against the accused persons and that the prosecution he withdrawn against the accused in respect of all the charges. In view of this application under Section 494, Criminal F. C, I allow the Assistant Public Proseoutor to withdraw the prosecution, and I acquit the accused persons in respect of all the charges against them in this case. The accused's lawyer is also present.
The Bench also directed the issue of another rule against the Sub -divisional Magistrate of Dhal -bhum, Jamshedpur, (Mr. S. N. Singh) asking him to show cause why he should not be dealt with for contempt of Court for having issued or caused to be issued a letter to the trying Magistrate direoting that a particular order be passed in the case, and also giving the terms of the order to be passed, which act prima facie constituted an interference with the exercise of judicial disore. tion by the Magistrate trying the case. The letter which the Sub -divisional Magistrate wrote to the tiying Magistrate was dated 4th December 1917, and was in the following terms: To All Magistrates trying rioting oases arising out of the last disturbances in the Tata Factory. 1. The accused persons have represented to Government for withdrawal of these cases and the Government are considering their prayer. These cases should, therefore, be adjourned for two months and be taken op on the let February 1948, The following order should be passed in these cases immediately and the parties informed. 'The accused persons are reported to have made a representation to Government for withdrawal of this case and the matter is in correspondence with the Government. The case is, therefore, adjourned to 1st February 1948, Accused as before. Inform parties'.
2. This may be returned to me after perusal and a copy of thiB draft order should be kept by you. (Sd.) S. N. Singh, S.D.O., Dhalbhum, Jamshedpur.
(2.) A copy of the rules issued was served on the Advocate -General of Bihar on behalf of the Provincial Government so that the Provincial Government might have an opportunity of being -beard in the matter, if they so desired.
We have now heard the learned Advocate -General on behalf of the Provincial Government and the officer concerned in respect of be to rules, Mr. S. N. Sahay appearing for the -aooused persons was not called upon by us to? make his submissions.
(3.) THE material facts of the case may be -shortly stated. On 7th May 1947, at about 3 P.M. there was an occurrence in the office of the Electrical Engineer inside the Tata Iron and? Steel Works at Jamshedpur. A orat information of the occurrence was given by Mr. A. R. Gupta, Electrical Engineer, on 8th May 1947,. at S P.M. This first information stated that -when Mr. Gupta and certain members of the supervising staff were in their office in connection with a Safety Committee meeting, some of the workers raided the office, damaged some properties and assaulted some of the officers. A police investigation followed and a charge -sheet against 17 accused persons was submitted on 18th June 1947. The trial commenced before -Mr. E. K, Lai on 6th July 1947, and continued on several dates. The examination and cross -examination of the prosecution witnesses concluded on 16th September 1947, by which date -one of the accused persons was dead, and the trial proceeded against the remaining 16 accused persons. On 15th September 1947, the statements of the 16 accused persons were recorded under Section 342, Criminal P. C. On 20th September 1947, some defence witnesses were examined and cross -examined. On 6th October 1947, arguments were beard, and the case was postponed till 11th October 1947, for judgment. Judgment was not, however, ready on that date, nor on the nest date fixed, which was the 18th October 1947. On 6th November 1947, an order was recorded to the effect that the accused persons -had moved the Provincial Government for with -drawal of the case. The trying Magistrate then noted as follows: Instruction on phone has been received from the Sub -Divisional Officer to adjourn the case. To 22nd November 1947. Accused as before.
It appears that on the 13th October 1947, one Mr. M. John, President of the Tata Workers,, Union, wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of Bihar for withdrawing the case on the ground that the occurrence arose as a result of the introduction of the New be nus Soheme which -had many defects and had exasperated the workers. From 6th November 1947 till 13th September 1948, successive adjournments were given on the ground that the orders of the Provincial Government had not been received. On 15th December 1947 an adjournment was given in pursuance of and in terms of the order which had been communicated by the Sub -Divisional Magistrate of Dhalbhum (Mr. S. N. Singh) to the trying Magistrate in his letter dated 4th December 1947, which I have already quoted at the beginning of this judgment. On 13th Sep. ember 1948, the Assistant Public Prosecutor filed a petition for permission to withdraw from the case, presumably on receipt of an order from the Provincial Government, and then the learned Magistrate passed the order to which I have already made a reference. ;