ARJUNA MISRA Vs. INDIAN UNION
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
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Ray, C.J. -
(1.) This is an application by the prisoner (Arjuna Misra) whose convictions under Sections 457, 380 and 461, Penal Code, have been confirmed by this Court in Criminal Revision No. 116 of 1949. The applicant invokes us to certify that the case is a fit one for appeal to the Supreme Court within the meaning of Article 134 (1) (c) of the Constitution of India, in order that he may prefer an appeal against the final order of conviction and sentences in the said criminal Page 1 of 12 Arjuna Misra vs. The Indian Union (28.04.1950 - ORIHC) 6/18/2007 proceeding. The pith and substance of the various contentions advanced is that, at the end of the hearing before this Court, is the background of the findings recorded therein, there does not exist any reliable evidence upon which a conviction can be safely or justly based and that, accordingly, the principles of natural justice have been violated resulting in substantial and grave injustice to the applicant.
(2.) The applicant and one P. J. Patnaik (since acquitted by the final order of this Court in Cri. Revn. No. 73/46 which was heard analogously with Cri. Rev. No. 116/49 and disposed of by one judgment governing both) had been tried jointly on identical charges arising out of one occurrence.
(3.) The occurrence related to a theft of a sum of Rs. 2290-14-0 from an ironsafe in the Office of the Superintendent of Police, Koraput, on 17th November 1946, between the hours 5-30 and 7-30 P. M. The theft was discovered immediately when the night watchman came to the office at about 7-30 P. M. and found the safe broken open. A first information report was lodged which, besides informing about the occurrence of theft of money, was lacking in all relevant details as to when, how and by whom the discovered crime had been committed. Investigation was taken up immediately and a general search of the premises of the Reserve Police Barracks, nearby, of which the applicant (Arjuna Misra) was one of the inmates undertaken. This continued till the 21st. In the afternoon of that date, investigation changed hands and C. I. D. Inspector from Cuttack took it over. He arrested Arjuna who confessed to him. His confessional statement constitutes the fabrics of the prosecution story. The statement, as recorded, by a Magistrate under Section 164, Criminal P. C., is quoted in extenso : "On Sunday after 3 o'clock I met him (P. J. Patnaik) in the office. He told me to sit on the (illegible) of my house on that evening. When I would stand near the well then you would come to me. On hearing this I went back to my house. There was none in the house where we were present. While it was going to be dark P. J. Patnaik came to me. I went to him as I saw him. He told me to bring a crowbar. On the very moment I ran to C/24 and asked him for crowbar. He gave me. While I was bringing the crowbar he gave me direction by winking his eyes and went 25 cubits ahead of me. I followed him on the hospital road. There is way near the Kana, where the wires had near pressed. He was waiting for me there. We met together there. We both entered into the compound. He gave me a torch and directed me to help him with light and he would do rest. He took the crowbar from my hand. One glass of the back door was missing. He pushed his hand inside it and opened the door. We both entered iota the room. On his direction I showed him light. Ha thrust the crowbar inside the lock. He gave a jerk but the lock did not give way. He gave repeated jerks so the look was opened. I was waiting outside to watch if anybody was coming. But there was none there. He further directed me to go outside and watch. Accordingly I went outside. Then the door was already opened. The crowbar was lying on the floor. He put the G. C. notes of the box inside his clothes. He directed me to bring the crowbar. Ha went ahead. I followed him. We went back on the same way we came. We both went to D.I.'s quarter. We both went inside it. He gave me some bundle of G. C. notes and directed me to run away. As I was going with the crowbar and G. C. notes he asked me to give back the crowbar, lest I might show it to anybody. He also brought the lock of the iron cash chest. The lock was broken. He took away the lock, crowbar and rest of G. C. notes. So I told him if you would take the crowbar how could I manage as it belonged to others. So he directed me to say that somebody had taken it. I ran away through the ground. I told C/24 in the morning that I had thrown the crowbar into the well and not to ask me for it. I told him a lie being afraid of "search." I did not tell him about the theft. I kept some of the money in a barley tin and concealed it inside a "Kia" bush. I put some of the money inside a cigarette tin and concealed it inside the almirah of my house. Although there was search in my house in the night none could see the money. Next day C/22, 24 and two Ratho brothers all told the fact of crowbar in the office. The Dy. S. P., S. I. and other officers began to ask me about this. But I did not tell. Next day or after two days I was placed under suspension. On that evening I told G. N. Tripathy that P. J. Patnaik and myself had thrown the crowbar into the well, I made over to him a bundle of 100 G C. notes and told him to throw it in the house of C/24 and report the theft. He told me to throw it in the morning. So I gave him the money in the morning. I told him to give share of the amount if no blame would come to me. Ha assured me to give help He kept Rs. 100 in his house. I sent for C/382 and requested him to report this fact. He gave me word but did not do it. I came back with a request not to say this fact to anybody. Sometime after some Police Officers same to the line in a car. So then I concealed the cigarette tin containing the money inside the cowdung heap on the way side. It was recovered during search. Afterwards I was called and examined by some Police Officers and I told all the facts. I showed the amount kept inside the barley tin. I was arrested. I first told G. N. Tripathy about P. J. Patnaik. We together bad a talk on this matter on that Sunday. We together were putting up in a mass for some days.";
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