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Queen-empress Vs. Maiku Lal and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1898)ILR20All133
AppellantQueen-empress
RespondentMaiku Lal and anr.
Excerpt:
evidence - confession--value to be attached to confession subsequently withdrawn. - - where a confession is not supported by the evidence of witnesses, a judge must examine very carefully to see whether it gives those details which indicate that it is a natural narrative of what took place in the presence of the man making it and is not at variance with any evidence in the case which is believed, and is not merely a parrot-like repetition of a story put into the man's mouth......into the man's mouth. in the present case the confession is full of detail. it is very circumstantial, and bears on it, in our opinion, the impress of truth. there is nothing in the evidence to suggest that it was false in any particular, and it was made before a district magistrate who would take care, so far as he could, that no advantage was taken of the prisoner. our belief in the truth of nathu's confession before the district magistrate is not in the slightest affected by his subsequent retraction of it. in our opinion these men were guilty, and were rightly convicted. although the dacoits had firearms with them, no personal injury seems to have been done to any of the villagers or to the people of the house, and we think that in this case we may alter the sentence to one of ten.....
Judgment:

John Edge, C.J. and Burkitt, J.

1. Maiku Lal and Nathu Lal have been sentenced to transportation for life under Section 395 of the Indian Penal Code. As against Maiku there was his own circumstantial confession and proof that some of the articles stolen in the dacoity were found in his houae. He is also implicated by the confession made by Nathu. As to Nathu Lal the case against him depends upon a statement made by him before the District Magistrate, which was subsequently withdrawn, and further upon the fact that he is named as one of the dacoits in the confession made by Maiku. Kunwar Parmanand, for Nathu, has argued that inasmuch as Natbu's confession was subsequently withdrawn, and as there is no evidence in the case against him, we should not accept the confession as sufficient ground for his conviction. Kunwar Parmanand has relied upon Queen-Empress v. Mahabir I.L.R. 18 All. 76, and Queen-Empress v. Rangi I.L.R. 10 Mad., 295. It appears to us that every case of this kind must be decided upon its own circumstances, and not upon the amount of credibility which was attached in other cases to confessions made. If a Judge believes that a confession made by a prisoner, although subsequently withdrawn, contains a true account of that prisoner's connection with the crime, the Judge in our opinion is bound to act, so far as that prisoner is concerned, on that confession, which he believes to be true. Courts frequently act, even in the most serious cases, on a simple plea of guilty, although in some cases it is possible that the person pleading guilty was not in fact connected with the crime. Where a confession is not supported by the evidence of witnesses, a Judge must examine very carefully to see whether it gives those details which indicate that it is a natural narrative of what took place in the presence of the man making it and is not at variance with any evidence in the case which is believed, and is not merely a parrot-like repetition of a story put into the man's mouth. In the present case the confession is full of detail. It is very circumstantial, and bears on it, in our opinion, the impress of truth. There is nothing in the evidence to suggest that it was false in any particular, and it was made before a District Magistrate who would take care, so far as he could, that no advantage was taken of the prisoner. Our belief in the truth of Nathu's confession before the District Magistrate is not in the slightest affected by his subsequent retraction of it. In our opinion these men were guilty, and were rightly convicted. Although the dacoits had firearms with them, no personal injury seems to have been done to any of the villagers or to the people of the house, and we think that in this case we may alter the sentence to one of ten years' rigorous imprisonment, and we do so accordingly. In other respects the appeals are dismissed.


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