1. This is an appeal from the judgment of the Sessions Judge of Patehpur, dated 31st August 1942. The prosecution case is that there was a dacoity at the house of Balraj and Gajadhar on 21st February 1942. Considerable amount of property was stolen and the inmates of the house were injured. Sixteen accused were committed to Sessions of whom nine were acquitted. Seven have appealed, two Indrasan and Shambhu through the jail. Two assessors were of opinion that only six of the 16 accused were not guilty and the third assessor was of opinion that only three were not guilty. Of the first six, the learned Judge found that four were guilty and so there was agreement between the Judge and the assessors about only two. Of the second* three the Judge and the assessors were in agreement about one man. I think the reason for this difference of opinion may be partly traced to the view held by the learned Judge about Ex. P-l which is a list given by Gajadhar of the stolen property on 22nd February when the Sub-Inspector went to his village. The first information report was made by Balraj, his brother, at 10-25 A.M. on 22nd February and in this it is clearly stated that Gajadhar as the head of the family would dictate a list of the stolen property. A few stolen articles are mentioned in the first information report but this is in connexion with the assault on the women of the family. The learned Judge has accepted the argument of the defence counsel that the list of stolen property Ex. P-1 cannot be brought on the file because it was given to the investigating officer after he had taken down Gajadhar's statement in the diary. According to the learned Judge, Section 162, Criminal P.C., renders this list inadmissible in evidence for this reason. I suppose what is meant by this technical argument is that if the investigating officer had not started his investigation by taking down statements, he could have been given by the head of the family a signed list of stolen property which would, become part of the first information report. Because Gajadhar's statement had already been taken by the investigating officer, he was not entitled to receive from Gajadhar a signed list of property. I must confess that I think this is a very unnatural interpretation of Section 162, 6 Criminal P. C. That runs as follows:
No statement made by any person to a police officer in the course of an investigation under this chapter shall, if reduced into writing, be signed by the person making it; nor shall any such statement or any record thereof, whether in a police diary or otherwise, or any part of such statement or record be used for any purpose save as hereinafter provided at any inquiry or trial in respect of any offence under investigation at the time when such statement was made.
2. I fail to understand how a list of stolen property can be called a statement ; in my opinion this section of the Criminal Procedure Code has no reference to such a list. It is not even necessary for the complainant to state in the first information report that a list is being prepared and will be supplied to the police because such a remark is obvious, but it is advisable that such a remark should be entered in the first information report and it is usually done. When it has once been stated that a list is being prepared and when that list is given to the investigating officer within a few hours or within a day or two if the dacoity is a very serious one, it is, in my opinion, ridiculous to say that the list cannot become part of the record because the investigation has already started. The list of the stolen property is part of the first information report and it should be signed. It is not a statement about what happened at the dacoity which by definition involves loss of property. It does not implicate any particular person and the bigger the dacoity and the richer the house, the longer it takes to make out the list. I do not say that if no list is forthcoming for a very long time it should not be treated with suspicion ; the value of the list has to be weighed like any other piece of evidence, (the first information report has also to be carefully scrutinised) but that is entirely different from saying that the list should not be accepted in evidence. In my view the list is part of Section 154, Criminal P. C., and has nothing to do with Section 162. At the end of the judgment the learned Judge saya when referring to the nine accused who have been acquitted that none of the articles recovered from their custody although they are in the list have been mentioned in the first information report and this inter alia is a reason given for their acquittal. As I have already stated, I do not agree with this reason and probably the assessors were not prepared to accept it or did not understand it because it is highly technical (After giving the benefit of doubt to two appellants, namely, Sripal and Durga, his Lordship considered the evidence against the remaining five appellants and dismissed their appeals.)