Decided on July 18,1960

Kesto Dauli Appellant
STATE Respondents


- (1.) Ten persons were tried by the Extra Additional Sessions Judge of Howrah with the aid of a jury on a charge tinder Section 396 of the Indian Penal Code. The trial concluded with a diminished jury of eight who by a majority of 7 to 1 found in favour of three accused men who were accordingly acquitted; the remaining seven having been found against by the same majority, the learned Judge, in. agreement with that verdict convicted them of the offence of committing dacoity with murder. Of these one was sentenced to imprisonment for life and the rest to ten years' rigorous imprisonment each.
(2.) Of the seven convicted persons four have appealed from jail; the remaining three have appealed in the regular way. The two appeals have been heard together and are disposed of by this judgment.
(3.) The case for the prosecution presents the familiar features of dacoity with murder. On August 26, 1957 at about 11-30 p.m. the ten accused persons with another called Sudha Bag raided the house of one Khagen Bangal of village Basudebpur within police-station Uluberia. The inmates were asleep when the raid began; some of them were roused by the flashes of torch and sounds of fool-steps. One of the raiding party was armed with a gun and the others with tangis, ballams and bamboo poles. A female inmate having raised an alarm some of the miscreants came up and tied up her hands. A demand was made for money and keys. The cry of another inmate Nemai Bangal, attracted notice and a scuffle ensued with some of the raiders. A room was forced open and the female occupant with her baby in arms rushed out and her husband Khagen had a tussle with some of the dacoits. The child was snatched away from its mother's arms, put into a bag and jettisoned into a shrubbery close by. A sum of Rs. 100 in cash, a gold ring, some clothing, bronze churies and other trinkets were removed. When Khagen intervened he was fired at. The first shot missed its target Khagen was fired at again and he died almost instantaneously. After the miscreants had retreated the neighbours arrived and an account of what had happened was given to them by the inmates some of whom stated that they had been able to recognise some of the miscreants. An information was lodged with the police at about 7-30 in the morning and an investigation followed which resulted in a charge sheet.;

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