1. The petitioner, Rasik Lal Das, has been convicted under Section 54-A of the Calcutta Police Act, and sentenced to undergo three months' rigorous imprisonment. According to the Police Officer, P.W. No. 1, there were found in the house of the accused 23 ties, three pairs of gloves, two scarfs, two braces, one pair of stockings and one night cap. There is no evidence as to the condition of these things. The case for the accused is, that they are old worn-out things such as are to be found with bikri wallas and are of no further use. For the purpose of section, 54-A of the Police Act, it is obligatory on the prosecution to show that there is reason to believe that the goods had been stolen or fraudulently obtained. It appears to me in this case that the mere evidence of the Sub-Inspector that second-hand articles of clothing were recovered from the house of the accused would warrant us in saying that there is reason to believe that the articles found in the possession of the accused had been stolen or fraudulently obtained. There must, necessarily, be a great deal of property of this kind disposed of in Calcutta, and I think without further evidence we ought to hold; that the first condition necessary for a conviction under Section 54-A of the Police Act has not been established. That being so, I think the petitioner is entitled to an acquittal. The Rule must, therefore, be made absolute and an order passed directing that the petitioner be discharged from his bail. The articles may be returned to the petitioner.
2. I agree.