Decided on March 17,1950



Panigrahi, J. - (1.) The petitioners have been convicted under Sections 427 and 379, Penal Code and sentenced to pay a fine of R3. 25 each on each count.
(2.) The case against the petitioners is that they pulled down the walls and part of the roof of the house belonging to the complainant on and June 1948 and caused damage to the extent of RS. 20 or more, and dishonestly removed the roofing materials, The undisputed facts that emerged from the evidence are, that the complainant and the petitioners own adjoining plots of land, namely, plot NOS. 1983 and 1932 respectively; that Plot No. 1933 belongs to the complainant and there is a row of three rooms with a common roof on that plot that plot No. 1932 belongs to the petitioners, and that the disputed house is partly within that plot bounded by A, B, C, D, E, F at S as demarcated in the plan prepared by the mutation officer of Angul. The map shows that the complainant put up the house on a bit of land appertaining to plot No. 1932 belonging to the petitioner. Another fact clearly established by the evidence is that this house is an old house belonging to the complainant and is his ancestral property. The house consists of three rooms admittedly standing on plot No. 1933. Part of the disputed house, however, encroaches upon the land of the petitioner and has been standing thereon for a long time.
(3.) It would appear that the petitioners prevented the complainant from repairing the wall on 20th January 1948, which led to the institution of a criminal case against them. In that case they were convicted and fined by the trial Court on 28th May 1948 but were acquitted by the appellate Court on 6th July 1948 on the ground that the evidence of possession of the complainant in respect of the demolished wall was unsatisfactory and that the accused had acted under a bona fide claim of right. The present occurrence took place on 2nd June 1948 when the petitioners demolished 6/8ths of a room, pulled out the roof appertaining to that portion and carried away the materials. On these facts the trial Court held that the petitioners acted in a high-handed manner and committed offences of mischief and theft.;

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