1. The facts giving rise to this Rule are as follows:--One evening last August a consignment of til seed was loaded into nine buffalo carts at Sealdah. Two of the carts, one. driven by Ram Khelawan and the other by Purusottam, left the road leading to their destination and proceeded to a go down, for the purpose of having some of the. contents abstracted. The petitioner is found to have been directing operations at this godown. Separate cases were instituted against Ram Khelawan and Purusottam, and in each case Babujan was joined as an accessory. Both cases ended in conviction, and Babujan has been sentenced in each case to one year's rigorous imprisonment and those sentences must under the. law run consecutively.
2. The Rule was granted on the ground that 'the basis of the prosecution case being one act of abetment in respect of criminal breach of trust for the whole quantity of goods there was one offence, and the double conviction is bad in law.' The learned Vakil for the petitioner urges that the two carters might have been tried together, and that Babujan might have been tried with them, and in that event it is suggested that his punishment might have been less. Further, he says that the findings of fact amount to only one act of abetment, although it embraced two separate persons.
3. It is not necessary to go so far as to say that Ram Khelawan and Purusottam could not be tried at one trial. It is enough to say that the Magistrate was well advised to try them separately, and the petitioner is not entitled to make it a grievance that he did so.
4. As to the second argument, the facts found amount to this that Babujan was abetting an offence by each carter. The carters were each committing an offence in regard to the goods on their respective carts, and there is no evidence that they were acting in concert, however' probable it may be. But whether they were acting in concert or not, it is clear that Babujan was acting in concert with each of them and, therefore, I think the Courts below were right in finding that he abetted the ofience of each, carter separately.
5. Lastly, looking at the matter from the point of view of punishment only, I think one. conviction and one sentence in a joint, trial would not have resulted in less than what has actually been awarded.
6. The Rule is discharged.
7. I agree