1. In this case sixteen accused wore tried before the Sessions Judge of Broach on charges under Sections 224, 147, 332 and 333, Indian Penal Code. The prosecution case was that accused Nos. 1, 2 and 3 imported liquor from Navagama in the Rajpipla State into British limits, and having been lawfully arrested accused Nos. 1, 2 and 3 escaped from lawful custody, after the rest of the accused committed not and assaulted the Abkari officers and secured the release of accused Nos. 1 to 3 by use of force. All the accused except accused Nos. 8, 9, 13 and 16 were convicted. Accused Nos. 1, 2 and 3 were sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for six months under Section 224, Indian Penal Code ; and accused Nos. 5 and 15 each to six months rigorous imprisonment under Sections 147 and 225, and to three years' rigorous imprisonment under Section 333, Indian Penal Code; and accused Nos. 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12 and 14 each to six months rigorous imprisonment under Sections 147, 225 and 332, Indian Penal Code. The appeals of accused Nos. 1 and 2 were admitted by this Court. It appears that in the regular trial for importation of liquor into British limits accused Nos. 2 and 3 were held not guilty and acquitted. So far as accused No 1 is concerned the case is covered by the decision in Queen-Empress v. Muppan I.L.R. (1895) Mad. 401 where it was held that an accused person legally arrested for an offence must submit to be tried and dealt with according to law. If he gains his liberty before he is delivered by due course of law, ho commits the offence of escaping from lawful custody under Section 224, Indian Penal Code. This view is accepted in The Public Prosecutor v. Ramaswami Konan. I.L.R. (1908) Mad. 271
2. With regard to accused No. 2, we think that though accused No. 2 was subsequently acquitted, ho was rightly convicted under Section 224, Indian Penal Code. The words 'for any such offence' in Section 224, Indian Penal Code, mean for any offence with which a person is charged, or of which he has been convicted. It would be an offence to escape from lawful custody before the trial just as it would be an offence to escape from lawful custody after conviction. The word 'charged' is used in the popular sense as implying inculpation of an alleged offence as distinguished from a charge formulated after trial. It would be, in our opinion, an offence for a man to escape from custody after he has been lawfully arrested on a charge of having committed an offence, although he may not have been subsequently convicted of such latter offence. In this case, accused No. 2 was lawfully arrested, under Section 36, Clause (e) of the Abkari Act V of 1878 for an offence under Section 43 (1) (a) for importation of liquor. We think that accused No. 2 was in custody and was lawfully detained for an offence with which he was charged and that he committed the offence under Section 224, Indian Penal Code, when he escaped from such lawful custody. The case is covered by the decision in Deo Sahay Lal v. Queen-Empress I.L.R. (1900) Cal. 253 where it was held that though the accused was subsequently acquitted, ho was guilty if he escaped from lawful custody. We think, therefore, that both the appeals should be dismissed.