1. This is a Revision application by Samad Guru who has been ordered to be bound ' down Under Section 109, Criminal P. C. by the Sab- Registrar Magistrate Srinagar in the amount of Rs. 1,000/- with two sureties to be of good behaviour for a period of eleven months. The charge against the accused is that he took precautions to conceal his presence at about 11 in the night in the village of Kralpura with a view to committing an offence, when he was arrested by a police official who along with some others was coming out of the Numberdar's house late in the evening wheve ifliey had been invited to a dinner. When the evidence-was recorded, the charge boiled down to the fact that the accused having seen these persons coming-out of the Numberdar's house, ran away, and when he was arrested he gave a wrong name and address.
2. I am not at all satisfied from the evidence recorded that the accused eave a wrong name and' address at the time of his arrest by the police official and others. The accused is said to be an old jail bird. One of the witnesses by name Ahad Guru who took part in his arrest says that he knew the accused previously. It hardly stands to reason that the accused would have given a wrong name and address when he was fully known to one of the witnesses.
3. Now let us go to the other allegation against the accused. It is said that the moment the accused saw four persons (including the police official) coming from the opposite side, he tried to run away . Would his running away thus, mean that he was trying to conceal his presence with a view to commit an offence? The facts as disclosed in evidence reveal only this much that the accused tried to run away most probably to avoid observation by the police official and other people who had come out of the Numberdar's house. That would not mean that he was trying to conceal his pre- sence with a view to commit an offence. The accused, as has been made out in evidence, is not a person of good antecedents, though none of his alleged previous convictions has been legally proved against him. Naturally he would have a desire to avoid the presence of police or other village-officials such as a Numberdar or a Chowkidar. Goaded by a natural impulse to avoid being observed by them, the accused ran away the moment he saw them coming from the opposite direction.
4. Then it is said that the accused could not give a satisfactory account of himself at the time of his arrest. In the first instance, it has to be home in mind that to give a satisfactory account of himself is entirely different from being unable to give a satisfactory explanation of his conduct on a particular occasion. A person walking on a public highway, though somewhat very late in the evening, cannot be called to furnish an explanation for his remaining out at a later hour, unless it be shown that his conduct was so unnatural or suspicious as would justify seeking an explanation, in the present case, it is significant that no incriminating article like an implement of house-breaking etc., was found from the person of the accused. Even though the accused may have had bad antecedents, that would not justify harassing him on the basis of a mere suspicion well verging upon a mere conjecture or even a whim. True, that all persons who break the law, shall be dealt with ac- cording to law. But it shall also have to be borne in mind that a person after he has served his sentence must be given a respite to reform himself. Unnecessary harassment would simply tend to convert such a person into a hardened criminal who would then become a greater danger to society.
5. Now in the present case all that we know is that the accused was walking on a public highway at about 11 P. M. when he saw certain people and ran away. The fertile imagination of the police official saw in it 'Precautions to conceal his presence with a view to commit an offence'. There is no presumption in law or cornmonsense that a person who runs away when he sees a police man does so' with a view to commit an offence'. Under these circumstances, I accept this revision petition, that aside the order of the lower court, and order that the accused be set at liberty if not wanted in some other case. B.R.R. Revision allowed.