(1) This is a revision for jail and Mr. Punchi has appeared in support of it as amicus curiae. The only contention raised by the counsel is that there is no evidence with respect to the offence under S. 457, Indian Penal Code. The conviction of the accused-petitioner under S. 380 read with S. 75, Indian Penal Code, is based on the presumption which has been raised on account of his having been found in actual possession of stolen properties immediately after the occurrence. In my opinion, the learned counsel is right. Where a person is found in possession of stolen goods soon after the theft, it may be presumed that he is either a thief or has received the goods knowing them to be stolen unless he can account for his possession, but there is no rule of law which permits from the possession of stolen goods, a presumption of an offence of lurking house-trespass by night, or house-breaking by might, as is contemplated by S. 457 of the Indian Penal Code.
(2)The Courts below have therefore completely misdirected themselves in holding the accused to be also guilty of an offence under S. 457, Indian Penal Code. I find that in the Court of the learned Sessions Judge the accused was not represented. In such a case there is a heavy duty imposed both on the Court and on the counsel for the State to see that the accused gets justice and he is not prejudiced merely because he has not been able to engage a counsel. The Courts and the counsel for the State have a duty to advance the cause of justice and they must go into the matter a little more deeply because the responsibility is entirely theirs to see that no injustice is done to the accused before them. I need hardly repeat that the duty of the counsel for the State is not a secure a conviction at all costs, but to assist the Court in correct and just decisions of cases. With these observations I allow the revision in part and set aside the conviction of the accused under S. 457, Indian Penal Code. In all other respects his conviction and sentence are maintained.
(3) Revision allowed.