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Sridhar Sahu Vs. State of Orissa - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtOrissa High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in53(1982)CLT187; 1982CriLJ506
AppellantSridhar Sahu
RespondentState of Orissa
Excerpt:
.....a concept is totally not conceivable from any provision in the act, 1972 or the act, 1951. [air 2002 orissa 130 overruled]. - rath, the learned additional standing counsel, both the trial and appellate courts have, for good and sufficient reasons, accepted the evidence of pw 6 who caught the petitioner when he was attempting to sell cinema tickets at higher rates which had been supported by the evidence of pws 2 to 5 and i see no justifiable reason to take a different view because pws 2 to 6 were police officials. 4. i thus find that the order of conviction under section 34a of the act recorded against the petitioner by the trial court and affirmed by the appellate court was well-founded on facts and in law......rigorous imprisonment for a period of three months, for attempting to sell six second class cinema tickets for the evening first show at jyoti cinema hall at cuttack at about 6 p.m. on july 1, 1978, which was detected by the sub-inspector of police (pw 6), then attached to the madhupatna police station, who, being accompanied by other police officials (pws 2 to 5), had raided the premises of that cinema hall to detect such anti-social activities. the petitioner was caught red-handed with six tickets (mos i to vi) and a cash of rs. 11.20 paise (mo vii) which were seized by pw 6 in the presence of the police officials and pw 1, the booking clerk of the jyoti cinema hall, vide ext. 1, the seizure list and after arrest, the petitioner was produced at the madhupatna police station and.....
Judgment:
ORDER

B.K. Behera, J.

1. The petitioner stands convicted by the trial and appellate courts Under Section 34A of the Police Act, i8fil (hereinafter referred to as the 'Act'), inserted by the Police (Orissa Amendment) Act, 1976 and sentenced thereunder to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of three months, for attempting to sell six second class cinema tickets for the evening first show at Jyoti Cinema Hall at Cuttack at about 6 p.m. on July 1, 1978, which was detected by the Sub-Inspector of Police (PW 6), then attached to the Madhupatna police station, who, being accompanied by other police officials (PWs 2 to 5), had raided the premises of that Cinema Hall to detect such anti-social activities. The petitioner was caught red-handed with six tickets (MOs I to VI) and a cash of Rs. 11.20 paise (MO VII) which were seized by PW 6 in the presence of the police officials and PW 1, the booking clerk of the Jyoti Cinema Hall, vide Ext. 1, the seizure list and after arrest, the petitioner was produced at the Madhupatna police station and after a charge-sheet was placed, he was prosecuted for commission of an offence punishable Under Section 34A of the Act. His plea was one of denial and false accusation,

2. Six witnesses were examined for the prosecution to establish its case and one witness (DW 1) was examined for the defence to prove that the petitioner had been requested by DW 1 to purchase fifteen tickets for him for that show.

3. Mr. Biswal, the learned Counsel for the petitioner, has submitted that regard being had to the discrepant evidence with regard 1r> the seizure and as to how and under what circumstances the petitioner had allegedly been attempting to sell the cinema tickets at higher rates, the order of conviction could not be sustained and there was no justifiable reason to discard the evidence of DW 1 that the petitioner had purchased the tickets on his request. But as has rightly been submitted by Mr. Rath, the learned Additional Standing Counsel, both the trial and appellate courts have, for good and sufficient reasons, accepted the evidence of PW 6 who caught the petitioner when he was attempting to sell cinema tickets at higher rates which had been supported by the evidence of PWs 2 to 5 and I see no justifiable reason to take a different view because PWs 2 to 6 were police officials. After all, the presumption that a person acts honestly applies as much to a police officer as to any other person. A Court of revision should not reject as unfounded the concurrent findings of both the courts solely on the ground of some inconsequential discrepancies regarding the exact higher prices at which the petitioner had been offering to sell the tickets. The evidence was that at the sight of the police officials, the persons to whom tickets were being offered by the petitioner took to their heels, The evidence of DW 1 had no intrinsic worth. On his own showing, the petitioner was neither a friend nor a relation of his nor was the petitioner his servant and in addition, the defence set up by the petitioner through the evidence of DW 1 must be characterised as a myth in view of the statement of the petitioner before the trial court denying the recovery of the tickets from his possession - a denial which cannot be accepted in view of the positive evidence from the side of the prosecution and the fact that he had not stated while under examination by the trial court that he had been requested by DW 1 to purchase tickets on his behalf. The petitioner, instead of explaining as to how he had come by the six tickets found in his possession, set up a false theory and adduced unacceptable evidence through DW 1. The falsity of the defence cannot establish the prosecution case. But if the other evidence and circumstances point unfailingly to the guilt of the accused, false defence can be considered as an additional link.

4. I thus find that the order of conviction Under Section 34A of the Act recorded against the petitioner by the trial court and affirmed by the appellate court was well-founded on facts and in law.

5. The learned Counsel for the petitioner has submitted that if the order of conviction is upheld, a sentence of fine would be sufficient in the circumstances of the case. Both the trial and appellate courts have recorded their views that for such anti-social activities affecting the society at large, a sentence of imprisonment is called for. In a case of this nature, the petitioner should be visited with an appropriate sentence of imprisonment and not with a sentence of fine only. In the absence of materials showing that the petitioner had earlier been indicted for such activities, a sentence of one month's simple imprisonment would, in my view, meet the ends of justice.

6. In the result, the order of conviction passed against the petitioner is maintained, but the sentence of imprisonment passed against him is reduced and he is to suffer simple imprisonment for a period of one month. With this modification and reduction in the sentence passed against the petitioner, the revision fails and the same is dismissed. The order regarding the disposal of MOs I to VII is modified to the extent that the seized cinema tickets (MOs I to VI) shall be forfeited to the State as provided in Sub-section (4) of Section 34A of the Act.


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