Decided on March 25,1970

Chenchuvela Acharl And Others Respondents


K.N.Mudallar, J. - (1.) THE State files this appeal against the order of the learned Assistant Sessions Judge III, Chingleput acquitting accused 1, 2 and 4, the Respondents herein, for an offence under Section 326, I.P.C.
(2.) BRIEFLY , the substance of the presecution case is that P.W. 1 and others went to the field known as Thachamanyam at about 6 O'clock in the morning of 27th July 1966 with ten ploughs. The prosecution party tied the ploughs. They were ploughing. There is the darkhast land cultivated by accused 2 by the side of Thachamanyam or Kamralamanyam. At about 8 O'clock accused, 1, 2 and 4 and eight ethers came armed.P.Ws. 2 and 3 corroborate the evidence of P.W. 1. P.W. 4 says in his evidence that 15 persons belonging to the prosecution party were in the Thachamanyam and that they were chased and beaten by the accused party. In his cross -examination he claims that he used to plough the Thachamanyam. Strangely enough he does not remember who harvested the oarpentry land last year Masl. He does not even remember who enjoyed the crop last year Masl. He does not even know who harvested the crop after the quarrel. P.W. 6 also speaks about their cultivating in Kamsalamanyan on the date of occurrence at 6 O'clock. The eleven accused came armed. P.W. 6 says that they got afraid and stepped the ploughs. P.W. 6 speaks about the further attack by the accused party of eleven against the fifteen of the prosecution party. P.W. 9 admits that P.W. 5 was gathering grass. P.W. 9 stopped ploughing. According to this witness, accused 1 cut P.W. 5 on the right shoulder with a patta kaife. It emerges from the evidence on record that P.Ws. 3, 5, 1 and 4 sustained grievous injuries. The so -called independent evidence is given by P.Ws. 19, 23, 25 and 26 broadly speaking. The pleas of accused 1, 2 and 4 is one of denial, In an elaborate discussion of the entire evidence on record the learned Assistant Sessions Judge III of Chingleput in paragraph 43 gives a finding that accused 1 was in possession of Thachamanyam on the date of the occurrence and was cultivating the same. In paragraph 45 the learned Judge further observes that accused 1 along with accused 2 to 11 came and attacked P.Ws. 1 to 15, who were ploughing, sowing and gathering grass in Thachamanyam, which was in the posses of accused 2. He farther gives a finding that P.Ws. 1 to 15 had deliberately and as a result of pre -arrangement trespassed into Thachamanyam and were ploughing, sowing and gathering grass at the Instance of metti ryots in the village and that accused 1, who was in possession of Thachamanyam, along with accused 2 to 11 attacked them. He farther finds: "This, they were entitled to do in the exercise of their right to private defence of property." The occurrence took place in Pondavakkam village where there is no police station and there was no time for the accused to have recourse to the public authority. He further finds that accused 1 to 11 had attacked P.Ws. 1 to 15 and earned injuries to them in the exercise of their tight of private defence of property, that they were not members of an unlawful assembly, nor have they committed rioting. The learned Judge further found that accused 1, 2 and 4 have exceeded their right of private defence in causing grievous injuries to P.W. 5, P.W. 3, P.W. 1 and P.W. 4 respectively and that accused 1, 2 and 4 were guilty under Section 326, I.P.C. The other accused were acquitted of all the charges.
(3.) IN their appeal against their conviction under Section 326, I.P.C., accused, 1, 2 and 4 contended for the benefit of their sight of private defence, and the learned Judge was perfectly justified in accepting the plea of right of private defence availing accused 1, 2 and 4. The learned Judge held (1) that Ex. P -31, the first information report In this case was not a reliable document, (2) that there was a false endorsement purporting to be that of the village munsif to the effect that after the receipt of the complaint from P.W. 18 he visited the scene and found the injuries on the prosecution party; (3) that the plea that the injured persona of the prosecution party were lying unconscious at the time of the visit of the Inspector was unbelievable, and (4) that the manner in which the evert acts were attributed to each of the eleven accused vis -a -vis the fifteen injured in minute details and chronological order was itself suggestive of the fact that it could not have been made to the village munsif at the time when it was said to have been made. The learned Judge disbelieved the evidence of P.W. 18 and ultimately found that Ex. P -31 was of no value.;

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