HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
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Panigrahi, J. -
(1.) There are two appeals directed against the judgment of the Sessions Judge Bolangir Kalahandi, in Sessions Case No. 27 of 1949. There are three appellants in Cri. App. No. 8 of 1950 and one in Cr. App. no. 16 of 1950. All of them have been convicted under Schedule 95, Penal Code and sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment each.. Altogether twelve persons were put on trial and eight of them have been acquitted.
(2.) The case for the prosecution is that the appellants, along with certain other persons, numbering about thirty, forcibly entered into the house of the complainant Sardul Nag at about 10 P. M. on the night of 4-9-48 and committed dacoity. They were all armed with thabies, knives, lathis and torches, and carried away paddy, rice, utensils, molasses, as well as gold ornaments. On the next morning the complainant reported the matter to Dasarathi, Gountia of Rugurupalli, a neighbouring village and also sent word to Sribanta, Gountia of Nagapalli, another neighbouring village. Both the Gountias, along with other villagers, gathered at the house of the complainant, and thereafter Sardul Nag went to the Police Station at Sonepur and lodged F. I. R. at about 7 P. M. on 5-9.48. The Police took up investigation, recovered some properties from the houses of appellants 1, 2 and 3, viz., Suke Misra, Sabda Pujhari and Garjan Dumal (appellants in Cr. App. No. 8 of 1950) and charge- sheeted twelve persons, of whom as has been stated already-all except the four appellants were acquitted.
(3.) The main incident of dacoity la spoken to by P. W. 11 (the complainant), P. W. 12 (wife of the complainant), P. W. 13 (mother of the complainant), P. W. 14, Damai Gourin (an inmate of the house) and P. W. 15 (a servant of the complainant). Besides these persons, there were also in the house an infant son of the complainant, the complainant's sister and his farm servant, but these were not examined by the prosecution. The prosecution case is that some of the dacoits were known to the complainant even before the date of occurrence and that he could recognise the others by the light of the torches that they had been flashing in the course of the dacoity. The prosecution further alleged that some trails of rice were discovered along the path leading to the house of appellant 2, Subda Pujari, and some articles were recovered from his house. Appellant 4, Shyam Keot (appellant in Cr. App. No. 18 of 1950) absconded the day after the occurrence and was arrested on 27-12-48 by the Police of Binka Police Station in connection with another offence said to have been committed by him. Shyam Keot made a confessional statement on 30-12-48 which was recorded by a Magistrate examined as P. W. 10. Thus, the case for the prosecution rests on the direct evidence of the eye-witneses who were inmates of the complainant's house at the time of the incident, the recovery of some of the articles alleged to have been stolen, the confessional statement of Shyam Keot' one of the appellants. The prosecution has also relied upon a few circumstantial details.;
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