J.S. Bedi, J.
1. The story for the prosecution briefly runs as under:
On the 10th January 1962, near Partap Bagn, Jullundur City, A.S.I. Kartar Singh accompanied by Kesho Dass, Excise Sub-Inspector, Santa. Singh and Shiveharan Lal P. Ws. were patrolling, when the petitioner was found corning carrying a Jhola. On suspicion the Jhola carried by the petitioner was searched which contained a bladder full of illicit liquor, The liquor was transferred1 into three bottles after taking a sample out of it which was later on sent to the Chemical Examiner who was of the opinion that the liquor was of illicit origin. Case against the petitioner was registered and he was sent up for trial which was held by Shri R.D. Sayal, Magistrate 1st Class. Jullundur, who, vide his order dated the 23rd July, 1962, found the case against the petitioner proved under Section 61(1)(a) of the Punjab Excise Act, 1914, convicted him accordingly and sentenced him for four months' rigorous imprisonment besides a fine of Rs. 200/- on the ground that the petitioner was a previous convict. The petitioner went up in appeal which came up before Shri Ram Lal Aggarwal, Sessions Judge, Jullundur, who on the 29th August 1962 maintained the conviction and sentence imposed upon the petitioner and dismissed his appeal. He has now come up to this Court in revision challenging the above mentioned order of the Sessions Judge.
2. The learned Counsel for the petitioner submitted that Shiveharan Lal and Santa Singh P.Ws. have been appearing in police cases before and, therefore, should be dubbed as stock witnesses and consequently their statements should be ruled out of consideration. This proposition, however, is untenable for the reason that merely because a person appears for the police as a witness is not enough to dub him as a stock witness and altogether unreliable unless some strictures against such a witness have been passed or at least he has beer disbelieved by any competent Court. The most in any case that can be said under the circumstances is that the evidence of such a witness should be scrutinized with care. Now, in the present case besides these two witnesses we have the evidence of Kartar Singh A.S.I. and that of Kesho Dass E.S.I. Against them the petitioner's counsel submitted that they are official witnesses and, therefore, their evidence should be looked with suspicion as they are interested in seeing the success of this case.
It is needless to probe into this matter further as this point has been clinched by a judgment of the Supreme Court reported as Aher Raja Khima v. State of Saurashtra (S) : 1956CriLJ426 in which it was observed that:
The presumption that a person acts honestly applies as much in favour of a police officer as of other persons, and it is not a judicial approach to distrust and suspect him without good grounds therefor. Such an attitude could do neither credit to the magistracy nor good to the public. It can only run down the prestige of the police administration.
It may also be kept in mind that it is a case of revision and the two Courts below have come to a unanimous finding that the recovery of illicit liquor from the petitioner was genuine. The sentence imposed upon the petitioner is the minimum prescribed under the law. The petition, therefore, stands dismissed.