1. The petitioner who is a resident of Nangal Abiana, District Rupar, was tried under Section 61 of the Punjab Excise Act by Shri S, K. Khosla, Judicial Magistrate First Class, Una, and convicted and sentenced till the rising of the Court besides a fine of fifty rupees. In default of payment of fine he was to further undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of one month. The petitioner went up in appeal which came up before the Sessions Judge. Patiala, who dismissed the same vide his order dated the 8th March, 1967. The petitioner still does not feel satisfied and has come up in revision to this Court.
2. The story for the prosecution briefly runs as under. On the 19th October, 1965, on receipt of information Sub-Inspector Bal-want Singh organised a raiding party and went to village Nangal Abiana and there raided the tubewell of the petitioner who was present. He was taken into custody and interrogated by the Sub-Inspector when he disclosed that he had kept buried in the field of his brother Ujjal Singh a pitcher of lahn and that he could get the same recovered from there. This statement of his was made in the presence of Ishar Singh, Inder Singh PWa. and one Telu ram who was given up as unnecessary. The petitioner then took the investigating party to that place and produced one pitcher containing fermented lahn weighing twenty kilograms. The lahn was tested by Excise Sub-Inspector Joginder who found 'the same to be fermented and fit for distillation. Tbe case against the petitioner was registered and he was Bent up for trial which ended in the above-mentioned result. The petitioner when examined denied the allegations against him and stated that he was involved in this case on account of his enmity with the prosecution witnesses. He examined two witnesses in defence.
3. To prove this case the prosecution relied on the evidence of Inder Singh and Ishar singh besides the Sub-Inspector. Ishar Singh out of them was definitely hostile to the peti. turner and his evidence was, therefore, rightly rejected by the Courts below. The convictionof the petitioner, however, was maintained on the evidence of the Sub Inspector and Inder Singh P. Ws. It was alleged that sometime after this occurrence security proceedings were started between the brother of the petitioner and Inder Singh P. W. and, therefore, it should be taken that this witness was hostile to the petitioner. But this argument cannot be accepted because before the recovery there was no hostility between these two persons and later on it appears that proceedings were taken to create defence. Similarly, about eight months thereafter the Panchayat Samiti passed a resolution making certain allegations against the Sub.Inepector that he was not a truthful officer and that resolution also has no effect for the reason that it was passed a long time after the present recovery. It is also to be kept in mind that when the investigating officer in this case was examined no such allegation was levelled against him except this that he had involved the petitioner is this case at the instance of the two witnesses mentioned above, namely, Ishar Singh and Inder Singh. It was then urged that Telu Bam who was another witness to the recovery was given up by the prosecution as unnecessary and therefore, it should be presumed that if this witness was examined he would not have supported the prosecution case. Bat the learned Counsel for the State submitted that Telu Bam stood surety for the petitioner when he was arrested in this case which evidently Shows that he was interested in the petitioner and it was precisely for this reason that the prosecution did not examine him- I feel that the argument advanced by the State counsel is correct.
4. The learned Counsel for the petitioner then submitted that there were two defence witnesses, namely Shiv Singh D. W. 1 and Sarwan Singh D. W. 2 and Shiv Singh out of them is a member of the Block Samiti, Nurpur Bedi, while Sarwan Singh is a lambardar of village Bajrur. I have gone through their evidence. Shiv Singh D. W. 1 stated in his evidence that he was coming from the house of his in.laws in Nangal Abiana. When he reached village Nangal he saw the police party near the Harijan colony. The police pirty then went to the tubewell of Bhajan Singh where he saw a pitcher of lahn lying on the well. On enquiry by the Sub-Inspector the Constable stated that the pitcher had been recovered from the field of Ujjal Singh. The Sub-Inspector, however, decleared that the petitioner had been criticising him unnecessarily and he was, therefore, going to implicate him falsely in this case. This witness tried to persuade the Sub.Inspector not to implicate the petitioner falsely but the Sub-Inspector did not listen to him. The Panohayat Samiti.therefore, passed a resolution to that effect. When cross-examined he stated that neither he nor anyone else complained about this highhandedness of the polios to the higher authorities. As already stated above, the resolution has been stated by this witness to have been passed six months after the recovery in this case. To the same effect is the statement of Sawaran Singh D. W. 2. It is hardly believable that the Sub-Inspector even if he wanted to involve the petitioner in this case would do so in the presence of the witnesses and tell them that he was bringing a false case against the petitioner.
5. The learned Counsel then lastly urged that the recovery of lahn was effected from the field of Ujjal Singh, brother of the petitioner, and that the place was acceesible to all and sundry and. therefore, the petitioner could not be deemed to be in possession of the in. criminating article recovered in this case. This argument is also devoid of force for the reason that if we once come to the conclusion that the petitioner did make the disclosurestatement leading to the recovery the above argument then falls to the ground. If there was no disclosure-statement which led to this recovery and the petitioner was only alleged to have pointed out the pitcher, then the fate of this case would have been different. In that event it could be said that be had only the knowledge that lahn was lying buried in that field. But the facts are different in this case. I, therefore, am of the view that the petitioner has been rightly convicted. The sentence, if at all, is on the lenient side. The revision petition stands dismissed.