OCCASIONAL NOTE

The Marwari Association has laid its views on the house-rent question before the Committee of Inquiry, which, as Mr. Phelps states, is now engaged in drawing up its report on the subject for submission to the Bengal Legislative Council. While it repeats the usual explanations of the rise in land values and rents, the Association has not shirked the allegations of profiteering and speculation. Such factors as the cost of building materials, dearness of labour, an increase in the population side by side with an actual decrease in the number of available houses, together with the general rise of prices, must needs be admitted as affording intelligible reasons, so far as they go, for the augmentation of rents. The Improvement Trust, always a convenient whipping-boy, is blamed as usual. If the matter ended here, the law of supply and demand might be pleaded as ruling the case. The Marwari Association, however, admits that there has been some profiteering, and of this it gives a very plain and straightforward explanation. Some owners demand fancy prices and get them, and others then follow suit. Some landlords demand enhanced rents, which tenants must needs pay, and “naturally,” as the Marwari Association says, “other owners of house properties follow this example.” Another factor is mentioned by the Association. It can only be hoped that the Rent Inquiry Committee will have some speedier remedy to suggest.

JHARIA RAJ CASE

Before Mr. D.P. Ghosh, Sub-Judge, Alipore, the hearing of the application for the appointment of a receiver of the properties left by the late Raja Durga Prosad Sing of Jharia, valued at about one crore of rupees, in the suit brought by his widows, Rani Prayag Kumari Debi and others, against Babu Sita Prosad Sing now in possession of the Jharia Raj, continued for more than a week. Sir Rash Behari Ghosh and others appeared for the plaintiff Ranis and contended that a receiver should be appointed for the protection of the estate. After hearing both sides the Court approved of the suggestions of the defendant being appointed a receiver and this was incorporated in an order of the Court. By this order, the defendant will not be allowed to transfer in any way any part of the immovable properties in suit.

MADRAS LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL

MADRAS, FEB 5

On the motion of the Hon. Venkatapathi Raju the Council passed a resolution requesting His Excellency to convey to the King-Emperor their profound thanks and loyal expression of gratitude for the Royal Proclamation, which they regarded as the Magna Charta of the people’s rights and privileges, and for his gracious exhortation to all his subjects for co-operation. The Council further requested His Excellency the Governor to express its high sense of thankfulness for the great changes effected by the Government of India Act, 1919, and their firm resolve to work it successfully so as to reach the goal of self-government within the Empire at an early date. His Excellency said that nobody realised more than he did the enormous work that the Viceroy had done during the last two years in connection with the reforms. BARRISTER S

COMPLAINT

LAHORE, FEB 5

The complaint of Mr. Rustomji, barrister, against thirteen members of the Lahore High Court Bar Association, for alleged assault came up for preliminary investigation before Mr. Keogh, Additional District Magistrate, Lahore. The complainant represented by Mr. C.O. Carden Noad, barrister, produced evidence in support of the allegations made in the complaint. After the Librarian of the High Court Bar Association and Messrs. Ralli and Abdul Ghani, barristers, had given their statements, counsel for Mr. Rustomji suggested to the court that the persons complained against should be called in order to ascertain the facts. The magistrate said it was for Mr. Rustomji to depose as to the names of persons who actually struck him. Mr. Rustomji at this stage exclaimed that all the Indian members were against him because he held certain political views.

LAHORE BRIBERY CASE

LAHORE, FEB 5

It will be remembered that C.A. Heymerdinguer District Traffic Superintendent, North-Western Railway, who was convicted by Mr. Prenter, Special Magistrate, of having accepted bribes in his capacity of a public servant was released on bail by Colonel Nicholas on his own bond of Rs 5,000 and a further bond of Rs 5,000 from Mr. O’Neill, pending an appeal to a higher court. On application being filed by the Crown for an increase of bail, Colonel Nicholas transferred the application to the court of Colonel Roe, Sessions Judge, Lahore. Colonel Roe today increased the bail to Rs 20,000 on accused’s personal bond and Rs 2,000 on surety.