SIVASANKARA PILLAI Vs. PARUKUTTY AMMA
LAWS(KER)-1963-1-12
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
Decided on January 18,1963

SIVASANKARA PILLAI Appellant
VERSUS
PARUKUTTY AMMA Respondents


Cited Judgements :-

M.N. SAHADEVAN VS. NARAYANA PANICKER SUDHAKARAN AND ANOTHER [LAWS(KER)-1970-2-34] [REFERRED TO]
SIVASANKARA PILLAI VS. STATE OF KERALA [LAWS(KER)-1971-11-28] [REFERRED TO]
KRISHNA PILLAI VS. PUBLIC PROSECUTOR [LAWS(KER)-1987-7-107] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

- (1.)The complainant (Pw. 1) in a case charge sheeted by the police has filed this revision against the order of acquittal. The case of the complainant was that the accused who is the sister of his wife committed theft of a buffalo and calf belonging to him from his possession. Pw. 3 gave evidence that the buffalo was sold by her to Pw. 1. The buffalo which was found tied to a tree in the adjoining compound of the accused was recovered from there by the police. The accused claimed to have purchased the buffalo from Dw. 1. The learned Magistrate felt a doubt as to whether the buffalo belonged to pw. 2 the doubt being mainly founded on the difference in the age of the buffalo as given by Pw. 1 (4 years) and the age of the buffalo that was recovered as noted in the mahazar (8 years). The Magistrate was also of the view that evidence regarding the actual removal from Pw. 1's cattle shed was not free from doubt. Hence he acquitted the accused and ordered that the buffalo and calf may be placed status quo ante.
(2.)The State has not appealed against the order of acquittal and no ground is made out for interference with the order of acquittal in exercise of the revisional jurisdiction of this Court.
(3.)However I feel that the complainant has reason to be aggrieved with the order regarding the disposal of the buffalo and calf. It cannot be laid down as a general rule that if no offence is found to have been committed in respect of the property produced before a criminal court and the accused is acquitted, the Magistrate should restore the property to the person from whom it was taken. When there are conflicting claims to the property and the title could only be decided by a civil court the proper order would be to direct the property to remain in the custody of the court subject to any order that might be made by a competent civil court. Now that the buffalo and calf have been handed over to the accused, the learned Magistrate is directed to call upon the accused to execute a bond for Rs. 165/- (the price of the buffalo and calf as given by the complainant) with sureties to the satisfaction of the court undertaking to restore them to the court in case the complainant establishes his title.
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