Decided on December 16,1982



Chandrachud, C. J. - (1.) The respondents were convicted by the learned Sessions Judge, Bharatpur, under Section 395 of the Penal Code and were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for three years. By its judgment dated November 13, 1972, the High Court of Rajasthan has set aside that judgment and has acquitted the respondents. The State of Rajasthan has filed this appeal by special leave against the Judgment of the High Court.
(2.) The State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur had a branch at Bayana in the district of Bharatpur. At about 1.30 p.m.. on March 17, 1971, seven or eight persons looted the Bank. Jugal Kishore Paliwal, the Agent of the Bank, was working in his chamber, while Bhagwan Dass Goyal, Head Cashier, and Suresh Chand Goyal, Assistant Cashier, were in the cash cabin at that time. The dacoits, who were armed with country-made pistols, knives and a handgrenade, ordered these Bank employees to stand up and raise their hands. Three dacoits entered the Agent's room. beat him up and opened the safe and the almirahs. They could not find any money therein. They then took the agent to the cash cabin, where they tore open the lid of an iron cash box and took away currency notes of Rs. 15,253/- from it. They snatched a black-coloured confidential box lying on a nearby table threw away the papers which were in that box and put the money in it. They carried away the black box, got into a blue Ambassador car and drove away.
(3.) The First Information Report of the occurrence was lodged by the Head Cashier. Bhagwan Dass Goyal, within about half an hour i. e. at 2.00 p.m., at Police Station Bayana. The Police Officer there sent wireless messages to the surrounding police stations as also to police outposts. On receipt of the message, the Head Constable in charge of the police station at Weir, posted police personnel to block the car on the road. Soon thereafter, an Ambassador car bearing No. DLJ 7458, in which seven persons were seated, arrived from the direction of Bayana. Driven in panic, the car dashed against an oil barrel in front of a shop and was damaged. The occupants of the car were forced by that circumstance to come out of the car, whereupon they were surrounded by the police and the members of the public. The occupants fired from their pistols and tried to escape under cover of fire but the police and the public gave them a hot chase for over a mile and succeeded in surrounding them once again. The occupants of the car opened fire causing injuries to some members of the public. Ultimately, they were over-powered and caught, Babu Lal, Station House officer of the Bayana Police Station, arrived on the scene and arrested the respondents. It transpired during the investigation that the Ambassador car which the respondents had used was stolen from New Delhi a day before the occurrence. The case of the prosecution is that the respondents before us were the very persons who looted the Bank, escaped in the car and were chased and arrested.;

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