1. This is a jail appeal by six men who have been sentenced to transportation for life under Section 395, Penal Code. We have been through the evidence and we consider that the convictions are justified. There was undoubtedly a dacoity and the only question which could arise was whether the appellants were concerned in it. The learned Judge pointed out that the evidence of the witnesses who purported to identify the appellants in jail was too good to be true and we are inclined to agree with him. On the other hand, he has based the convictions on the recovery of property from the appellants. We have examined the evidence under this head and we have come to the conclusion that the learned Judge is right in his decision that the appellants were guilty. Three of them denied that the ornaments which were identified by the witnesses for the prosecution were recovered from their possession. There is quite satisfactory evidence of the Sub-inspector and independent witnesses that these articles were recovered from these people. The articles were identified by witnesses and in view of the fact that these appellants do not claim the articles as their own there is no reason at all to doubt the evidence of the witnesses who identified them. The other three appellants admitted that they had given the police certain ornaments which were produced in Court but they said that these ornaments were their own property. The learned Judge has pointed out that these ornaments have been identified by the members of the family which was the victim of the dacoity. He does not say that any witness identified any ornaments recovered from the appellant Karan, but we find that the necklace discovered in Karan's house was identified correctly by two witnesses Raghu and Mt. Bataso. The learned Judge has pointed out that it has been proved by the witnesses to the recovery that the articles were either buried or hidden in a thatch or something of that kind which would suggest that they were not honestly kept by the appellants. Some of the articles too were broken pieces of jewellery and we agree with the learned Judge that normally such broken pieces would not be in the possession of the appellants in an honest way.
2. There remains the question of sentence. This was a very serious dacoity in which two people were wounded with shot and two with spears. One of the men who was shot had three fingers of his right hand completely blown away. We should like to say that we think that the Courts below are rather inclined not to pass sufficiently severe sentences in cases of dacoity. It is true that Section 397, Penal Code, imposes a minimum sentence of seven years where a dacoit has used a deadly weapon or has caused grievous hurt, but that does not mean that a sentence of less than seven years should be passed on persons against whom it is impossible to prove that they used dangerous weapons themselves or caused grievous hurt. The provisions of Section 395, Penal Code, are that a person who commits dacoity shall be punished with transportation for life or with-rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and if the dacoity is a very serious one it naturally follows that the maximum sentence, or something approaching the maximum sentence, should' be passed upon the persons concerned. These dacoities are very serious offences in which a great deal of harm is done: quite innocent people are injured and often tortured, women are insulted and worse may happen to them, the owner of property may be deprived of his life's savings. These offences do not seem to decrease and the only conclusion to which we can come is that the sentences passed are not sufficiently deterrent. We think that the learned Judge did very well in this case in passing sentences of transportation for life. We dismiss' this appeal.