Jagat Narayan, J.
1. This is an appeal by the State against the acquittal of Keshri Chand respondent of a charge under Section 394, I. P. C.
2. The prosecution case was that the father of one Surjia had borrowed Rs. 100/- from Keshri Chand, which ho was not paying back, and in order to coerce him to pay off the debt Keshri Chand seized a camel belonging to the debtor from the possession of his son Surjia after giving him two slaps. The defence of Keshri Chand was that he had entered into an agreement with his debtor for the purchase of the camel, and had taken it with his consent in pursuance of that agreement.
The learned Magistrate did not believe that Keshri Chand slapped Surjia, as this allegation was not supported by one of the prosecution witnesses, Narain. He did not expressly say whether he disbelieved the defence allegation, but from his judgment it appears that he was satisfied that the camel was seized by Keshri Chand from the possession of Surjia in order to compel repayment of the debt. He, however, was of the opinion that as Keshri Chand had no dishonest intention in doing so, he did not commit any offence.
3. We have perused the evidence on record, and we are satisfied that there is no truth in the defence allegation that any agreement for the sale of the camel had taken place or that the camel was handed over by the debtor willingly. This allegation was not put even to the first prosecution witness Surjia in cross-examination. The finding of fact arrived at by the learned Magistrate is correct in our opinion, namely that the camel was seized by, Keshri Chand in order to compel repayment of the debt.
4. The act of Kcshri Chand falls within the definition of theft as given in Section 378 of the Indian Penal Code. This view was taken in Queen-Empress v. Sri Charan Chango ILR 22 Cal 1017 (FB) and Queen-Empress v. Agha Muhammad Yusuf ILR 18 All 88. These cases have been followed subsequently in Bakhtawar v. Emperor AIR 1925 Lah 131(2) & Emperor v. Ganpat Krishnaji Parit, AIR 1930 Bom 167 (1). On behalf of the respondent reliance was placed on Daulat Shaw v. Emperor AIR 1921 Pat 390. We are of the opinion that the view taken in ILR 18 All 88 and ILR 22 Cal 1017 is correct.
5. We accordingly set aside the acquittal ofKeshri Chand, and convict him under Section 379 of theIndian Penal Code. We sentence him to pay afine of Rs. 50/-. In default, he shall undergo threemonths' rigorous imprisonment. Two months' timeis allowed to the respondent for paying the fine,which should be deposited with the trial court.