K.D. Sharma, J.
1. This is a revision-petition filed by Anokha Singh against the judgment of the Additional Sessions Judge, Sri Ganganagar, dated 1st December, 1977, by which his conviction and sentence under Section 54(a) of the Rajasthan. Excise Act, hereinafter referred-to as the Act, were upheld and maintained. It will not be out of place to mention that the petitioner was prosecuted in the Court of the Munsif-cum-Judicial Magistrate, Sir Gangangar, for having been found in possession of a rubber tube containing illicit liquor in the quantity of about 20 bottles. The trial court concluded the trial and convicted the petitioner for the aforesaid offence and sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for one year and to pay a fine of Rs. 100/-, in default of payment of fine to further suffer rigorous imprisonment for one month.
2. The prosecution case against the petitioner was fellows : On 15th April, 1973, at about 1 p.m. Mangal Singh, Excise Inspector, saw Anokha Singh petitioner carrying bundle of fodder on his bicycle at the crossing of a bridge known as 'Tripoli' in vernacular. The Excise inspector suspected some excisable article in the bundle of fodder. So he searched the bundle in the presence of Megh Singh and Sheo Lal Mothirs. Upon search, it was found that there was a rubber tube in it which contained illicit liquor in the quantity that could fill 20 bottles. The Excise Inspector seized the tube aid the illicit wine recovered from the possession of the petitioner after taking a sample of the wire in a quart bottle for being sent to the Chemical Examiner for analysis. The sample was sent to the Chemical Examiner at Jaipur, who, upon analysis, declared that it was sample of liquor and contained 44.64% underproof ethyl alcohol. The Chemical Examiner sent a report Ex. P 5 to the District Excise Officer, Sri Ganganagar. Thereafter a charge-sheet was filed against the petitioner in the court of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Shri Ganganagar, under Section 54 of the Act. On coming into force of the new Cede of Criminal Procedure, this case was sent, to the Munsiff cum Judicial Magistrate, Sri Gangangar, for trial for the aforesaid offence. As stated earlier, the learned Magistrate convicted and sentenced the petitioner in the manner stated above. The petitioner preferred an appeal in the court of the Sessions Judge, but his appeal was dismissed. Hence, he has come-up to this Court in revision.
3. I have carefully gone through the record and heard Mr. B.R. Arora, learned Counsel for the petitioner and Mr. K.C. Bhandari, Public Prosecutor, for the State. Mr. B.R. Arora, learned Counsel for the petitioner could rot succeed in assailing the conviction of the petitioner under Section 54(a) of the Act as then is reliable evidence of Mangal Singh, Excise Inspector. P.W. 1, Megh Singh, P.W. 2 and Shiv Lal, P.W. 3 on the record that upon search of the bundle of fodder, which the petitioner was carrying away on his bicycle, a rubber tube was recovered which contained illicit liquor in the quantity that could fill 20 bottles. The petitioner could not afford any reasonable explanation for his possession of this excisable article. In his statement before the trial court, he denied recovery of the tube containing illicit wine from his possession. The evidence adduced by the prosecution to prove the guilt of the petitioner does not suffer from any infirmity. Nothing has been elicited from the cross examination of Mangal Singh. Excise Inspector, Megh Singh and Shiv Lal which may tend to destroy the value of their evidence or to impeach their credit. The evidence of these persons relating to the recovery of illicit wine home the possession of the petitioner is corroborated by the report of the Chemical Examiner who, upon analysis, found the sample of liquor to be containing 44.64% underproof ethyl alcohol, which strength is different from strength of wine manufactured by Government Distillery. The petitioner produced one witness Brian war Singh in his defence to show that he was falsely implicated in this ease by the Excise Inspector but Bhanwar Singh merely stated that he saw the petitioner being detained by the Excise Offices. Hence, do not find any substantive ground for interference with the findings of both the courts below as to the guilt of the petitioner under Section 54(a) of the Act Both the courts below have relied upon the prosecution evidence and have given out reasons for believing it and I see, absolutely, no reason to take a different view.
4. As regards sentence, it may be observed that it is excessive in the circumstances of the case. The petitioner has no previous conviction for similar offences to his discredit. In my opinion, the ends of justice would be met if the sentence of one year's rigorous imprisonment awarded to the petitioner by the trial court is reduced to a term of three months while maintaining the sentence of fine of Rs. 100/-, in default of payment of fine to suffer rigorous imprisonment for one month.
5. I, therefore, partly accept the revision filed by Anokha Singh and while maintaining the conviction of the petitioner under Section 54(a) of the Rajasthan Excise Act, 1950, reduce the sentence of one year's rigorous imprisonment awarded to him by the trial court to a term of rigorous imprisonment for three months. The sentence of fine of Rs. 100/-, and in default of payment of fine to suffer rigorous imprisonment for one month awarded to him by the trial court is, however, maintained.