MR. H. ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been drawn to the sentence of two years' imprisonment recently passed, under section 417 of the Indian Penal Code, upon Satyanath Mahapatra by the Deputy Commissioner of Singbhum, who himself instituted the prosecution; whether he is aware that the Judicial Commissioner of Chota Nagpur has, on being appealed to, set aside the conviction and directed a re-trial of the accused, on the grounds that the maximum punishment under the section referred to was one year's imprisonment; that the accused had not been given an opportunity of claiming a transfer of his case to another court; and that such a case should be tried by some competent magistrate other than the Deputy Commissioner; and whether he will inquire into the circumstances of the case?
THE SECRETARY STATE FOR INDIA (Lord George HAMILTION, Middlesex, Ealing)
I have received no information on the subject of the case to which the honourable Member's Question refers, nor have I observed any reference to it in the public Press. It would appear from the terms of the Question that if any judicial error was committed, it was set right on appeal, and I do not propose to take any action in the matter.