RAJANIKANTA MEHETA Vs. THE STATE
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
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K.B.Panda, J. -
(1.) THE Petitioner Rajanikanta Meheta has filed two revision petitions in the following background: There was a dacoity in village Nuagaon under Govindapur Police Station on 16 -4 -1974 night in the house of one Sudhananda Misra. The Fast Information Report was lodged at the Police Station the next day and investigation proceeded. However, two and half years after, on 20 -10 -1976, eleven accused persons were charge -sheeted under Sections 395, 394, 115 and Section 412, Indian Penal Code and under Section 25 of the Arms Act. Out of those eleven persons, one is Had Das and the other Rajanikanta Meheta, the Petitioner. Be it stated here that the Petitioner was only charge -sheeted under Section 412, Indian Penal Code on the allegation that he had received the stolen ornaments from Hari Das and had paid Rs. 7, 000/ -. This case was numbered as G.R. Case No. 658 of 1974.
Before the submission of the charge -sheet, Had Das, one of the accused in the case, filed a petition on 16 -12 -1974 stating that he would become an approve. The prayer was allowed and on 21 -12 -1974 his statement under Section 164, Code of Criminal Procedure was recorded. What is significant is that on that very day, after the statement was recorded, he was discharged from custody.
All the accused persons were committed to the Court of Session on 23 -1 -1978 and the Assistant Sessions Judge framed charge against the Petitioner under Section 412, Indian Penal Code. Criminal Revision No. 43 of 1978 is directed against the order of commitment of the Petitioner and he prays therein for quashing of the same, while Criminal Revision No. 119 of 1978 is directed against the framing of the charge under Section 412, Indian Penal Code by the Assistant Sessions Judge. Since both the matters arise out of the same G.R. Case, both were heard analogously and this order would dispose of both the criminal revisions.
(2.) MR . Mukherjee, learned Counsel for the Petitioner urged that the sale evidence against the Petitioner is that of Hari Das who has stated that after the commission of the crime he had sold some of the ornaments to the Petitioner who paid him along with others Rs. 7.000/ -. It may be stated here that no ornament has been recovered from the Petitioner and the sole evidence is the uncorroborated testimony of Hari Das. In fact, I find that in the lengthy 164 statement of Hari Das, there is only one sentence in Dara 15 that he along with others had sold the ornaments to the Petitioner who had paid him Rs. 7,000/ -. The point, therefore, now for consideration is if with this evidence, the commitment of the Petitioner is sustainable as also the framing of the charge under Section 412, Indian Penal Code by the Assistant Sessions Judge.
(3.) SOME developments in the meanwhile need be stated. Hari Das after his discharge on 21 -12 -1974 has been involved in several other dacoity cases and has been arrested. It is on record, that he has been apprehended by the Police on 20 -4 -1978 and has been committed to the Court of Session on 7 -8 -1978 (See order dated 5 -10 -1978 of this Court in Cr. Rev. No, 43/78).;
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