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Emperor Vs. Ram Dayal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1916)ILR39All40; 31Ind.Cas.828
AppellantEmperor
RespondentRam Dayal and ors.
Excerpt:
act (local) no. ii of 1901 (lgra tenancy act), section 124 - distress--attachment--removal by tenants of distrained crops--theft--act no. xlv of 1850 (indian renal code), section 379. - - the accused of course are entitled to the benefit of any reasonable doubt and i think it may very well have been that the accused in the present case honestly believed that the distraint had been made by their landlord......landlord had distrained the crops made this subsequent cutting and taking away of the crops by the accused lawful. he considered that this would be so notwithstanding that the distraint might have been more or less collusive between the landlord and his tenants. he therefore thought that the accused were wrongly convicted. the learned magistrate has explained that in his opinion distraint having been made by an agent who was not authorized in writing was illegal, and that therefore the illegal distraint could not justify the removal of the crop, the learned sessions judge points out that the distress was hold to be lawful by the revenue court. in my opinion it is unnecessary to decide whether or not the distress was lawful. a landlord who has rent due to him is entitled to distrain,.....
Judgment:

Henry Richards, C.J.

1. It appears that a decree was obtained against certain tenants. The karinda of the landlord purported to distrain the crops which had been attached in execution of the decree. The cultivators then cut and carried away the crops. They were charged under Section 379 with having committed theft and sentenced to one month's rigorous imprisonment each. The learned Sessions Judge, on the matter coming up before him in revision, thought that the fact that the landlord had distrained the crops made this subsequent cutting and taking away of the crops by the accused lawful. He considered that this would be so notwithstanding that the distraint might have been more or less collusive between the landlord and his tenants. He therefore thought that the accused were wrongly convicted. The learned Magistrate has explained that in his opinion distraint having been made by an agent who was not authorized in writing was illegal, and that therefore the illegal distraint could not justify the removal of the crop, The learned Sessions Judge points out that the distress was hold to be lawful by the Revenue Court. In my opinion it is unnecessary to decide whether or not the distress was lawful. A landlord who has rent due to him is entitled to distrain, notwithstanding that the result of the distraint may be in whole or in part to defeat the execution of a decree. Before the accused could be found to be guilty of the offence of theft it must be found that they dishonestly took the property out of the possession of another person. If the present accused believed that a legal distraint had been made by their landlord and in such belief cut and removed the crop I do not think that they could be said to have 'dishonestly' taken the property out of the possession of any other person. The accused of course are entitled to the benefit of any reasonable doubt and I think it may very well have been that the accused in the present case honestly believed that the distraint had been made by their landlord. I set aside the convictions and sentences passed upon the accused. If they are in prison they will be released. If they are on bail they and their sureties will bo released.


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