26 May 2020


Judgments

High Court of Bombay

Imran Khan Vs. State of Maharashtra

MANU/MH/0042/2019

14.01.2019

Criminal

Man in possession of stolen goods soon after theft is either thief or received goods knowing them to be stolen, unless he can account for his possession

The present revision is against the judgment of conviction by the Judicial Magistrate First Class, by which the applicant ('accused') came to be convicted for the offence punishable under Section 380 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for three years and to pay fine of Rs. 500 in default of payment of fine to suffer simple imprisonment for one month. He is also convicted for the offence punishable under Section 457 of the IPC and sentenced him to suffer rigorous imprisonment for three years and to pay fine of Rs. 500 in default of payment of fine to suffer simple imprisonment for one month. Being aggrieved by the judgment of conviction, the accused filed appeal before the Sessions Judge. Said appeal came to be dismissed thereby confirming the judgment of trial Court.

The accused/applicant submitted that there is no evidence against the accused/applicant to convict him. Learned trial Court wrongly invoked the presumption under Section 114 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. There is no eye witness to the incident.

Incident of theft took place in the night of 29-4-2004 and 30-4-2004. In his report, complainant has specifically stated that Rs. 2500 cash and golden ornaments were removed by the thief from his house. Admittedly, the report was lodged against the unknown person. After lodging the report, the accused was arrested immediately in presence of P.W. 6. When accused was arrested, he was found in possession of golden ornaments and cash of Rs. 2500. There is no discrepancy in the amount and golden ornaments seized by the police in presence of P.W. 6. P.W. 6 is an independent witness who has specifically stated that accused was arrested and that time golden ornaments belonging to the complainant and cash of Rs. 2500 were seized from the accused. Complainant identified those articles. Accused could not give any explanation about the possession of stolen articles.

As per Section 114 sub-clause (a) of the Act, a man who is in possession of stolen goods soon after the theft is either the thief or has received the goods knowing them to be stolen, unless he can account for his possession. Accused has not given any account in respect of articles seized from his possession. Therefore, presumption under Section 114(a) of the Act is rightly invoked by the trial Court. This presumption is not rebutted by the accused. P.W. 6 is an independent witness. He has specifically stated that golden ornaments and cash of Rs. 2500 were found in possession of accused. Accused has not given any account of the same. Learned trial court has rightly invoked the presumption under Section 114 of the Act and rightly convicted the accused. Appellate Court has also rightly evaluated the evidence on record and dismissed the appeal.

Judgment of conviction in respect of offences punishable under Sections 380 and 457 of the IPC is maintained, however, accused is sentenced to the period already undergone in jail. Fine amount already paid before the trial court. Revision is partly allowed.

Tags : Conviction Legality Evidence Credibility

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