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Ram Pratap and anr. Vs. Emperor - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1944All167
AppellantRam Pratap and anr.
RespondentEmperor
Excerpt:
- - 30 from the safe and damaged instruments and other articles. 30 in the safe and that the money did disappear. he saw one of the appellants, bimalchand, take the money out of the safe, remove it from the bag in which it was placed and throw the bag into the fire......money out of the safe, remove it from the bag in which it was placed and throw the bag into the fire. learned counsel argues that bimalchand when he was arrested had only rs. 16 in his possession and that the other accused who were said to have been arrested namely, the appellant, ram pratap and two who were acquitted had no money in their possession. if the two who were acquitted were not concerned in the crime then all the dacoits except the appellants escaped and even if the other two did take part in this offence there was still at least one more who might have run away with the money. there is also nothing to show that some of the dacoits might not have thrown the money away when they were being chased. i have not the slightest doubt that the appellants are guilty. it is urged.....
Judgment:

Allsop, J.

1. The two appellants have been sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a period of ten years under Sections 436 and 395, Penal Code, for the offences of mischief by fire and dacoity. The allegation is that they with five or six others went to a railway station during the disturbances in August 1942 and burnt some furniture, removed something over Rs. 30 from the safe and damaged instruments and other articles. There can be no doubt that this occurrence took place. One question is whether the appellants were concerned in it. It happened that there were two station masters at the station at the time. Their evidence is that the appellants came into the office and they were able to identify them at an identification proceeding in the jail and afterwards in Court. They assigned definite acts to the two appellants. There is also evidence which there is no reason to disbelieve that the appellants were arrested immediately afterwards at or near the station. The appellants say that they were arrested a long time afterwards on suspicion because they happened to be in the neighbourhood. In view of the evidence for the prosecution it is impossible to believe this story. It has also been argued that the acts committed did not amount to offences punishable under Sections 436 and 395, Penal Code. There is no doubt that the appellants and their associates brought kerosene oil, poured it over the furniture inside a room at the station and set fire to it. They must have known that there was a danger of their destroying the building. Learned Counsel has argued that a solid masonry building could not be destroyed by fire in this way. This argument does not appeal to me. There is nothing to show the nature of the building and any type of building may be destroyed by heat engendered by the burning of furniture or other articles inside the building. On the question of dacoity learned Counsel argues that it has not been established that anything was stolen. The evidence of the station master who had been in charge of the railway station is to the effect that there were over Rs. 30 in the safe and that the money did disappear. He saw one of the appellants, Bimalchand, take the money out of the safe, remove it from the bag in which it was placed and throw the bag into the fire. Learned Counsel argues that Bimalchand when he was arrested had only Rs. 16 in his possession and that the other accused who were said to have been arrested namely, the appellant, Ram Pratap and two who were acquitted had no money in their possession. If the two who were acquitted were not concerned in the crime then all the dacoits except the appellants escaped and even if the other two did take part in this offence there was still at least one more who might have run away with the money. There is also nothing to show that some of the dacoits might not have thrown the money away when they were being chased. I have not the slightest doubt that the appellants are guilty. It is urged that the sentences should be reduced still further, but the learned Reviewing Judge said when he reduced the sentences from transportation for life that the offences were very serious because traffic was dislocated for a considerable time. In the circumstances I see no reason to interfere with the sentences and I dismiss the appeal.


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