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Kishan Lal Vs. State - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1979CriLJ309
AppellantKishan Lal
RespondentState
Excerpt:
- - 1) owned a tube-well with a transformer fixed therein. on the night of 4/5th august, 1973 a theft was committed at his tube-well and all the copper wire present on the body of the transformer was removed therefrom......recorded against the applicant under section 411, i. p. c.2. at the relevant time (august, 1973) abdul shakoor (p. w. 1) owned a tube-well with a transformer fixed therein. on the night of 4/5th august, 1973 a theft was committed at his tube-well and all the copper wire present on the body of the transformer was removed therefrom. several other things, namely, a parat, a lota, a tumbler and a katori (utensilsed.) (all made of brass) were also found missing. one bag having a cross-mark on it was also not found there. on the lota and the tumbler the name of abdul shakoor had been engraved. abdul shakoor collected some of his friends and left for sarrafa market of saharanpur in search of the articles which he had lost. in the sarrafa market he visited almost all the shops and ultimately.....
Judgment:
ORDER

V.N. Varma, J.

1. This revision is directed against an order dated 20-3-1976 passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Saharanpur, confirming the conviction and sentence recorded against the applicant under Section 411, I. P. C.

2. At the relevant time (August, 1973) Abdul Shakoor (P. W. 1) owned a tube-well with a transformer fixed therein. On the night of 4/5th August, 1973 a theft was committed at his tube-well and all the copper wire present on the body of the transformer was removed therefrom. Several other things, namely, a Parat, a lota, a tumbler and a Katori (utensilsEd.) (all made of brass) were also found missing. One bag having a cross-mark on it was also not found there. On the Lota and the tumbler the name of Abdul Shakoor had been engraved. Abdul Shakoor collected some of his friends and left for Sarrafa market of Saharanpur in search of the articles which he had lost. In the Sarrafa market he visited almost all the shops and ultimately came across a person having a bag with a mark of cross on it. He identified that bag to be his. He also saw a person bargaining for sale of the articles contained in that bag. He left behind some of his friends, namely Chandrabhan and Chaman Lal to keep watch on the person who was trying to sell off his dungs and himself left for Kotwali to make a report. At the Kotwali he lodged a written report. Thereafter, he again left for Sarrafa market accompanied by police. There he saw the person (Bundu) who had been trying to sell off his things receiving some money from the applicant. The applicant had purchased the stolen articles from Bundu. The police caught Bundu and searched the shop of the applicant. From Bundu the police recovered Rs. 357/- and from the shop of the applicant the police recovered all the articles which Abdul Shakoor had lost. The applicant as also Bundu were taken into custody and a case was registered against them. Thereafter, the usual investigation followed and eventually Bundu was sent up to stand his trial trade Section 380, I. P. C. and the applicant under Section 411, I. P. C.

3. Both the accused of the case pleaded not guilty. Bundu denied to have, sold the articles belonging to Abdul Shakoor to the Raj Kumar Rai v. State applicant The applicant, however, admitted that Bunda had sold those articles to him for adequate consideration and that he had purchased those articles without knowing that they were stolen property.

4. The learned trial court found the case fully proved against the applicant as also against Bundu and it, therefore, convicted the former under Section 411, I. P. C. and the latter under Section 380, I. P. C. and sentenced both of them to 1| years R. I. each. The applicant went up in appeal against his conviction but in vain. Now, he has come up in revision to this Court.

5. I have heard the learned Counsel for the parties at sufficient length and after doing so I am firmly of die view that this revision must be allowed. Before a person could be convicted under Section 411,1. P. C, It is necessary for the prosecution to prove two things, (1) dishonest receipt or retention of stolen property and (2) knowledge at the time of receipt that the property received was stolen property. From the evidence on record it does appear that the applicant had received stolen articles, viz., one bag Ex. 1 Parat Ex, 2 tumbler Ex 3., Ex. 4 and copper wire weighing 21 kilo-grams and 30 grams Ex. 5 from Bundu but there is nothing convincing to show that when he received those articles from him he knew them to be stolen property. The articles which he had purchased from Bundu were not worth more than Rs. 400/- and it appears that for these articles he had paid Rs. 357/- to Bundu because this amount had been recovered from Bundus possession soon after the bargain for sale was struck. Seeing the value of the property sold and the price payed therefor there can be no doubt about the fact that there was nothing fishy about the transaction of sale. An effort was made to show through the mouth of Chaman Lai (P. W. 2) that when the articles in question were being sold by Bundu to the applicant the latter was heard telling Bundu that he should sell off the articles at cheap rate because they were stolen property. This part of the statement of Chaman Lai has not in the least impressed me to be convincing. On the face of it, it appears too dressed up to be accepted as true. Such a thing was never mentioned in the report Even Abdul Shakoor did not say such a thing in his statement. Obviously, mis kind of statement was introduced with a view to give strength to the prosecution case. Therefore, as it is I am not prepared to believe that the applicant had told Bundu that he should sell the articles at cheap rates because they were stolen property. However, even if one took it for a moment that the applicant suspected those articles to be stolen property and even then {purchased them that cannot go to make him liable under Section 411, I. P. C Section 411, I. P. C. does not apply to a case where the accused suspects the property to be stolen property. He must have reason to believe when he received the property that it was stolen property. The word 'believe' is a very much stronger word than 'suspect' and it involves the necessity of showing that the circumstances were such that a reasonable man must have felt convinced in his mind that the property with which he was dealing must be stolen property. It is not sufficient to show that the accused was careless, or that he had reason to suspect that the property was stolen, or that he did not make sufficient enquiry to ascertain whether it had been honestly acquired. In the instant case, there is nothing convincing on record to show that when the applicant purchased the articles in question from Bundu he believed those articles to be stolen property. On the other hand, the fact appears to be that he was a bona fide purchaser of those articles and he had purchased them for adequate consideration. The conviction of the applicant under Section 411, I. P. C. was, therefore, misconceived and consequently he deserves to be acquitted.

6. In the result, I allow this revision and set aside the conviction and sentence passed against the applicant He is on bail. His bail bonds are discharged and he need not surrender to them.


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