Norris and Macpherson, JJ.
1. The question for determination is whether a Collector, acting under Sections 69 and 70 of the Bengal Tenancy Act, is a Court within the meaning of Section 195 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
2. It arises in this way. (Their Lordships set out the facts above mentioned and continued)-
It is contended in showing cause that the order is right, that the Collector acting under the sections referred to is a” Court” within the meaning of Section 195 of the Procedure Code, and that sanction for the prosecution is necessary.
3. The word “Court” is not denned in the Criminal Procedure Code, and it certainly has a wider meaning than a Court of Justice as defined in the Penal Code. Having regard to the obvious purpose for which Section 195 was enacted, we think that the widest possible meaning should be given to the word “Court” as therein mentioned, and that it would include a tribunal empowered to deal with a particular matter and authorised to receive evidence bearing on that matter in order to enable it to arrive at a determination.
4. In the sections of the Tenancy Act referred to, the Collector is empowered to do certain things, some of which may involve the determination of the proportion in which the crop is to be divided, and his order is enforceable by a Civil Court as a decree. He is directed to give the parties an opportunity of being heard, and to make such enquiry (if any) as he thinks necessary. One mode of making an enquiry is certainly to take evidence. We think therefore that he is authorised to take evidence and come to a decision on the matters with which he is empowered to deal; that this brings him within the broad definition of a Court; and that sanction for the prosecution was necessary.
5. The rule is therefore discharged.