S. Acharya, J.
1. This is an appeal under Section 417 (3), Criminal P. C., 1898 against the order of acquittal passed by the Sub- I.C.C. 140/68 Divisional Magistrate, Jajpur in 665 T/68.
2. The prosecution case, in short, is that on 2-3-1968 at about 9 A. M. the accused persons along with many others forcibly entered into the shop-house of the complainant (P. W. 1) by breaking open its lock, and took away therefrom certain grocery articles worth Rs. 500/-. On the above allegation the two accused persons (respondents herein) were charged for an offence under Section 380, I. P. C.
3. The defence plea is that a false case has been foisted against them due to enmity between the accused persons and the complainant. They further state that the complainant did not have any shop in the house in question and that the complainant who is a quarrelsome and obstinate man has filed this false case as his adopted son Rama-chandra Panda, with whom the complainant has fallen out, took shelter in the house of accused Dinabandhu Satpathy. Accused Dinabandhu Satpathy admittedly is the brother-in-law of the complainant.
4. The Court below, on a lengthy consideration and discussion of the evidence on record adduced by both the parties, has arrived at the finding that the prosecution has failed to prove its case against the accused persons beyond reasonable doubt, and on that finding it has acquitted the accused persons of the charge under Section 380, I. P. C.
5. The occurrence allegedly took place in broad day light at about 9 in the morning. The accused persons and those others who came along with them as alleged, belong to another village, about three miles away from the place of occurrence. The alleged occurrence, as is admitted by the prosecution witnesses, was witnessed by quite a large number of villagers. P.W. 1, the complainant, came to the place of occurrence while the accused persons allegedly entered into the house in question and started removing various articles therefrom, but admittedly he did not say anything to the accused persons, nor did he challenge them as to why they opened his shop house and were removing grocery articles belonging to him therefrom. The complainant and his witnesses have also admitted that neither they nor any of the persons who came there at that time and witnessed the occurrence challenged or raised any objection against the aforesaid act of the accused persons. P.W. 2 has admitted in his cross-examination that about 20-25 cubits away from the place of occurrence there is a Malika Sahi. All the prosecution witnesses have also admitted that there was a rice huller belonging to D. W. 1 about 20 cubits away from the place of occurrence. Apart from all that, it is also ascertained from the prosecution witnesses that the houses of some other villagers are there near about the house in which the occurrence allegedly took place. P.W. 1 has also admitted that he at first saw the occurrence from his field, about 50 cubits away from the place of occurrence, while he was engaged in talking to his labourers. None of the persons of Malika Sahi or of those others of the neighbourhood or any of the complainant's said labourers has been examined as a witness in this case. Without examining any of those persons the complainant has merely examined P. Ws. 2, 3 and 5, three chance witnesses, who, according to themselves, came to the rice huller belonging to D. W. 1, wherefrom they allegedly witnessed the occurrence. It is worthwhile mentioning that D. W. 1 has testified to the fact that no such occurrence took place. Moreover, though P.W. 1 states that he informed about the alleged occurrence to the Sarpanch and thereafter reported the matter at the police station, neither the Sarpanch nor the police took any action, which fact again militates against the truth of the prosecution case.
6. The prosecution witnesses have stated that the removal of the grocery articles from inside the house of P.W. 1 by the accused persons went on for about an hour; those articles were brought out and they were carried by the accused persons and their associates on Bhars to their village, three miles away, in a procession. It sounds very improbable that though the accused persons and their companions committed such acts of trespass and theft of grocery articles worth about Rs. 500/- and openly carried those articles in a procession to a distance of three miles, none of the complainant's villagers or any other person of the locality opposed, obstructed or said anything to the accused persons as stated by the prosecution witnesses.
7. Apart from the above considerations, there are discrepancies and other unsatisfactory features in the evidence of the prosecution witnesses which have been taken into account by the Court below and its findings to that effect are well founded. It may only be mentioned that P.W. 1 in his examination-in-chief stated that the two accused persons entered into his shop-house after breaking open the lock on the door of that house, but later on he himself stated that the accused persons did not break open that lock but they opened the same by means of a key which they had brought with them. I do not deem it necessary to deal with the other inconsistencies and unsatisfactory features in the prosecution evidence.
8. P.W. 1 has admitted that Rama-chandra Panda is his adopted son and that accused Dinabandhu Satpathy is his brother-in-law. Having admitted all that he said that he did not know if his adopted son was putting up with accused Dinabandhu Satpathy at that time. His ignorance of the above fact in the manner expressed smacks of suspicion.
9. Ext. 2 is an enquiry report submitted by the Sarpanch of the local Grama Panchayat. The contents of this document, proved by the prosecution, indicate that the complainant was not pulling on well with Ramachandra Panda, his adopted son, and that the complainant was a man of quarrelsome and obstinate nature.
10. It is contended by Mr. Raju that nothing specific has been elicited from the prosecution eye witnesses in order to show that they were interested in the complainant or in the success of his case or that they were inimically disposed towards the accused persons, and so the Court has to accept their evidence as such and base its findings and conclusions on the face value of their evidence without diverting its attention to any other considerations. It is neither a rule of law, nor of prudence that if nothing against the witnesses to the above effect is shown from their depositions then their evidence as such has to be accepted on its face value, and the Court has to base its findings and conclusions only on their evidence without assessing the probabilities of their evidence, without considering the other factors and features of the case as would be evident on the materials on record. Some witnesses, who apparently appear to be independent and/or disinterested, may in a very convincing manner falsely support the cause of a particular party for reasons which may not come to light or may not easily be known to others.
Inscrutable, at times, are the ways of human beings, and reasons which prompt them to defile their oath may not be possible to be unearthed. The Judge has to apply his intelligence with which he is endowed, to properly assess and judge the evidence on record by the yardstick of probabilities, its intrinsic worth and the animus of witnesses, and he is not an automaton to mechanically compute the evidence on record without assessing the same in the context and perspective of the above considerations.
11. In the present case before me because of the improbable and unsatisfactory features in the prosecution evidence which have been mentioned above and discussed in the impugned judgment, the evidence of the eye witnesses does not at all inspire confidence.
12. On a careful perusal of the evidence on record, its discussion in the impugned judgment and for reasons stated above, I am satisfied that the respondents have been rightly acquitted in this case.
I therefore do not find any merit in this appeal and it is accordingly dismissed.