Jharkhand HC Allows Petition Against the Judgment Passed by the Additional Sessions Judge

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The criminal revision petition filed by the petitioners against the Judgment dated 02.05.2014 passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge-VII, Palamau at Daltonganj in Criminal Appeal No. 86/2009 wherein the learned appellate court affirmed the judgment of the conviction and sentence of the petitioners under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code and allows the appeal.

Facts

Informant (O.P. No.2 herein) along with Ram Gaya Mahto went to see his Arhar crop which he had sown on his field under Khata No.59, Plot Nos.1090 and 1091, area about 16 Katha, Village- Rajwadih, on 03.04.2005 at about 08.45 a.m. At the same time, the petitioners and some unknown laborers were cutting his Arhar crop of 8 kathas of land valued at about Rs.4500, the quantity being 3 quintals. When the Informant objected the petitioner warned him that if he did not go away from the field he would be faced with dire consequences. This resulted in several people gathering around. Seeing the situation tensed, the Informant, being an advocate, controlled himself returned to his house and narrated the entire story to his brother and nephew and went to the police station, and reported everything he saw. 

Arguments on behalf of the Petitioners

Learned counsel for the petitioner while propelling his argument explicitly presented that the judgment in question is unreasonable and in like manner calls for interference by this Court. Learned counsel presented that the property in question was bought by the petitioners from one Mahabir Dubey who, in turn, had bought the property in the year 1976 vide sale deed, executed by the wife of the recorded tenant and their mutation was likewise done vide in favor of Mahabir Dubey. 

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The grandson of the wife of the recorded tenant sold the property to the informant of the case, who happens to be an Advocate. There was a title suit being Title Suit No. 15 of 1983 and thereafter, Title Appeal No. 45 of 1991 and subsequently, Second Appeal No. 82 of 2002 which has been admitted by this Court and is pending for consideration.

Learned counsel for the petitioners presented that the Investigating Officer of the case has been examined and in his cross-examination, he has explicitly stated that none of the villagers had supported the case of the informant party. He further presented that P.W. – 1 and P.W. – 2 are prattle observers, however, the learned courts below have said that they are the eye witness to the occurrence. The learned counsel has additionally presented that in any case likewise, in cases where there is a bonafide land dispute, the petitioner couldn’t have been indicted and this part of the issue has not been considered appropriate by the learned courts below.

Arguments on behalf of the Opposite Party No.2 

On the contrary, the learned senior counsel for the Opposite Party No. 2 elaborately placed the judgment passed by the learned appellate court and presented that so far as to record regarding rent receipt are concerned, a finding has been given by the learned appellate court that the said documents didn’t identify with the property engaged with the current case. He particularly referred to the finding regarding the ownership of the property with the witness. He additionally presented that there are reliable finding of facts by both the learned court below and there is no scope of interference in revisional jurisdiction upsetting the current finding of facts in absence of any perversity and no perversity, illegality, or irregularity has been called attention to by the learned counsel for the petitioners. 

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Referring to the evidence of P.W. 6, the learned Senior counsel submitted that the Investigating Officer of the case has ousted in his examination-in-chief giving names of the people whose evidence were recorded by him and there has been no questioning of the Investigating Officer on this point. He presented that the confirmations of all the witnesses including P.W-1, 2, and 6 who have been properly considered by the learned courts below. Learned senior counsel presented that the title of the property is insignificant in the matter of the criminal case and what is significant is that there has been the reliable finding of ownership of the property for the source of the present case and it was additionally removed that the witness party had sown the crop and was entitled to harvest the same and no such evidence regarding the sowing of the crop was driven from the side of the defense.

The learned counsel appearing on behalf of the Opposite Party State submitted that he would be adopting the arguments advanced by the learned senior counsel appearing on behalf of the Opposite Party No.2. 

Judgment 

According to the facts and circumstances laid out by both the learned counsels, the petitioners are hereby acquitted by giving them the benefit of doubt, and the judgment passed on 28.07.2009 by the Additional Sessions Judge is set aside and the present revision petition is allowed. 

Click here to view the full judgment  


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