SURESH BABU Vs. STATE OF KERALA
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
STATE OF KERALA
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(1.) This Criminal Appeal is filed challenging the conviction under S.55(a) of the Abkari Act. The short question raised in this appeal is that when a detection and seizure was made by an Excise Preventive Officer and when the crime was registered at the Excise Office in the absence of an Abkari Inspector by the detecting officer himself in the Excise Office, whether he is bound to report the matter as required under S.38 of the Abkari Act to any other superior officers.
(2.) The facts necessary for consideration of this appeal is as follows: On 17/07/2000 at 4 p.m. the appellant / accused was found in possession of 30 packets each containing 100 ml. of arrack at Bandadka, Kannadithode public road. The case of the prosecution is that it was imported from the State of Karnataka. The Preventive Officer found the appellant / accused with a bag and seized the bag carried by him and on inspection it was found that it contained 30 packets of arrack. The contraband was seized, he was arrested, sample lifted and a mahazar was prepared. He was taken to the Excise Range office at Bandadka and as the Excise Inspector was on leave he himself registered the crime, property list was prepared, forwarding note was also prepared and on the next day accused was produced before the Court. The investigation was conducted by the Excise Inspector and a charge was filed. Prosecution altogether examined 5 witnesses. Exts.P1 to P5 were also marked. MOs 1 to 3 were identified. After appreciating the evidence, the Court below convicted the accused and sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of two months and to pay a fine of Rs.1 lakh with default rigorous imprisonment for one month.
(3.) I heard the learned counsel appearing for the appellant as well as the learned Public Prosecutor.;
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