RAM CHARAN AND ORS. Vs. NYAYA PANCHAYAT IRIYAKOT MALLA GARHWAL AND ORS.
LAWS(ALL)-1964-9-31
HIGH COURT OF ALLAHABAD
Decided on September 21,1964

Ram Charan And Ors. Appellant
VERSUS
Nyaya Panchayat Iriyakot Malla Garhwal And Ors. Respondents




JUDGEMENT

W.Broome, J. - (1.)The four petitioners in this case challenge an order passed by the Nayaya Panchayat of Majiyar Sain (district Garhwal) on 24.4.1960, convicting them for an offence under Sec. 426, I.P.C. and finding them Rs. 2.00 each, as well as the subsequent order of the S.D.M., Landsome dated 29.6.1960, maintaining the conviction and enhancing the fines to Rs. 8/- each.
(2.)The findings of fact arrived at by the Nyaya Panchayat when convicting the petitioners were that they had taken their wives to a certain field and had got their wives to cut and damage the leaves of some 'bhimal' trees, which belonged to the complainant Ram Sharan (opposite-party no. 3). An attempt has been made to argue that there was no evidence to support these findings, because the Panchayat rejected the testimony of the witness Gopal Singh produced by the complainant. From the impugned judgment it appears, however, that the Panchayat relied on the testimony of the complainant himself (in part, at any rate) and also on the statement of one Raghunath Prasad, a retired Deputy Ranger, who was a co-tenant of the accused; so it cannot be said that the findings were unjustified or patently erroneous.
(3.)It has further been argued that the conviction of the petitioners under Sec. 426, I.P.C. was illegal because they themselves had not committed mischief but had at the most instigated and abetted their wives in committing the offence. Sec. 52 of the Panchayat Raj Act, however, empowers Nyaya Panchayats to try the abetment of an offence under Sec. 426 as well as the primary offence itself; and the fact that the conviction in the present case was recorded under Sec. 426 simpliciter instead of under Sec. 426/109 or Sec. 426/114, I.P.C. amounts to a mere irregularity, which would obviously be curable. No prejudice seems to have resulted to the accused-petitioners thereby, since they were fully aware of the precise allegations levelled against them and were in no way misled by the form of the charge.


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