Decided on August 02,1983



I.C.BHATT - (1.) The State of Gujarat being aggrieved by the acquittal order passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge Kutch at Bhuj in Sessions Case No. 7/81 passed on 24/07/1981 has preferred Criminal Appeal No. 1108/81 whereas Criminal Appeal No. 957/81 has been filed by Cachu Karsan against the order dated 24-7-1981 of confiscation of the truck No. GTY-3073 before this Court.
(2.) The respondents-accused were tried for offences punishable under secs. 395 332 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code. The prosecution case in short is that Range Forest Officer Dayapar Mr. H. J. Upadhyaya received information that truck No. GTY-3073 had entered reserved forest namely Ravaleshvar Forest for the purpose of carrying away wood obtained by illegally felling trees from the forest. Therefore he with a constable and his subordinates took certain position on 17 It is the further case of the prosecution that on 18-7-1980 at about 4. 00 a.m. a truck loaded with wood and bearing registration mark in question was seen approaching the main road from the direction of the Ravaleshvar reserved forest. Upadhyaya gave a signal to the truck driver to stop the truck but the truck did not stop and therefore it was chased. It is the case of the prosecution that the men on the truck threw stones with the result that the wind screen glass of the jeep was broken and one Kuber a public servant was hit by a missile. The case of the prosecution is that three rounds were first fired in the air then four more rounds were fired and three wheels of the truck were punctured and the truck stopped. The men who were on the truck even tried to snatch away the rifle from Police Constable Ganpatsinh. However the men taking advantage of the darkness disappeared. After usual investigation the charge-sheet was submitted before the Judicial Magistrate First Class Kutch at Bhuj who committed the case to the Court of Sessions Kutch at Bhuj. The accused were arrested on 23 The accused pleaded not guilty. The learned trial Judge after considering the entire evidence on record has given the benefit of doubt to the accused.
(3.) Learned Public Prosecutor appearing for the appellant-State in Criminal Appeal No. 1108/81 drew our attention mainly to the evidence of the three witnesses namely Harshadrai Jayantilal Upadhyaya P. W. 1 Exh. 10 who is the complainant and who has filed complaint Exhibit 11 Balaji D. Kuber P. W. 2 Exhibit 12 and Ganpatsinh Chandgiram Police Constable P. W. 3 Exhibit 15. Learned Public Prosecutor has argued that relying on these three witnesses the trial Court ought to have convicted the accused for the offences with which they were charged. On the other hand learned Advocate for the respondents accused supported the acquittal order and submitted that these witnesses are not at all reliable and it is not possible to place any reliance on their evidence. There is no other positive evidence for coming to the conclusion that the accused were the persons in the truck.;

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