1. This is an application in revision, the applicant having been convicted of abetting the offence of bringing a false charge of an offence, Sections 211 and 109 of the Indian Penal Code.
2. We think that there is no evidence to sustain the conviction. It appears that one Chandrabhagabai went by night from one village to another and at the latter village instituted a false complaint that she had been robbed on the way between the villages. It appears also that the present applicant accompanied her on her journey. But that, it seems to us, is all that the learned Sessions Judge has accepted as proved against the applicant, and that, in our opinion, is not enough. There was evidence offered that the applicant had assisted Chandrabhagabai by scattering certain possessions of hers about the road and thereby creating evidence in favour of the false charge. But as we read the lower Court's judgment the evidence of the witnesses who tell this story about the scattering of the pots is disbelieved, or, at least, is not relied upon, for the learned Sessions Judge writes of them that they must be regarded with suspicion. If that evidence then is excluded from the case we are unable to see that there is any evidence to show more than this that the applicant accompanied Chandrabhagabai, and this of course he may have done in complete ignorance of the offence which in her mind she was about to commit.
3. It is important to observe that there is no evidence that the applicant had any malice against the persons whom Chandrabhagabai falsely accused, and, though there is evidence that he was on friendly terms with Chandrabhagabai, that evidence would serve the applicant's turn also as explaining why he should innocently volunteer to accompany the woman on her night journey.
4. It appears to us indeed that the Sessions Judge has really grounded the conviction of the applicant on a certain confessional statement said to have been made by Chandrabhagabai to a Police officer. The Sessions Judge considered that that statement though not admissible against Chandrabhagabai, under Section 25 of the Indian Evidence Act, would be admissible against the applicant.
5. It appears to us that this is an error of law and it is obvious that if the confession made to the Police officer by Chandrabhagabai is inadmissible against Chandrabhagabai herself who made it, it must a fortiori be inadmissible against another person who is implicated by it and behind whose back it was made. We think that the words of Section 25 of the Indian Evidence Act confirm this construction, and that it is not opposed to any thing that was said in Imperatrix v. Pitamber ILR (1877) 2 Bom. 61, upon which the learned Government Pleader has relied. For, in that case the confession made to a Police officer by one accused was allowed to be proved on behalf of, that is, in favour of, another accused, so that Section 25 did not apply. Here the object was to prove a confession made by one accused against another accused.
6. For these reasons we must reverse the conviction and sentence and direct that the accused be acquitted and discharged.