1. The applicant, Newaz Rai, has been convicted under Sections 147 and 224 of the Indian Penal Code and the other applicants under Sections 147 and 225 of the Indian Penal Code. On the findings of the learned Sessions Judge which have not been impugned before me on either side, it is difficult to see how the conviction can be sustained against any of the accused except Newaz Rai. He has been sentenced to fine only. The facts alleged by the prosecution are that the Sub-Inspector came to the village to arrest Newaz Rai. He did arrest him and took him to the Mukhia's house to be handcuffed. The arrest was a lawful arrest. Newaz Rai, however, struggled, got free and ran away. His reason for doing so seems to have been that he was performing funeral ceremonies of his deceased father and did not want to be arrested till the ceremonies were over. He came back of himself to the Sub-Inspector next day and asked that the arrest might be postponed. After accused got away, the Sub-Inspector was thinking of re-arresting him when some fifty or sixty persons carrying lathis and including the applicants assembled. It is said in the evidence that they pushed the police officers but this has been disbelieved by the learned Sessions Judge. All that really happened according to the finding of the learned Judge was that a crowd carrying lathis began to assemble and the Sub-Inspector considered their appearance so formidable that he desisted from his intention of re-arresting the accused. It is difficult to say that this amounts to illegal obstruction within the meaning of Section 224 or Section 225. According to the finding of the Court below no force was used and therefore, the offence could not be one of rioting. If the intention of the villagers in assembling was to prevent the re-arrest of Newaz Rai, they would no doubt constitute an unlawful assembly and might have been convicted under Section 143 of the Indian Penal Code but seeing how much exaggeration has been introduced into the evidence, it seems at least possible that they merely assembled, as they naturally would, to see what was going on and without any deliberate intention of preventing the police officers from doing their duty.
2. I dismiss the application of Newaz Rai but allow the applications of the other applicants and set aside their convictions and sentences. In the case of those applicants whose applications have been allowed, the fines, if paid, will be refunded.