Decided on February 01,1978

Sheik Halim Appellant


P.K. Mohanti, J. - (1.) APPELLANT is one of the five accused persons who were convicted under Section 396, Indian Penal Code and sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life.
(2.) THE facts which gave rise to the prosecution are that on the night of 13 -12 -1972 or strictly speaking at about 1 a.m. on 14 -12 -1972 a gang of 8 or 9 dacoits carrying torchlights, hand bombs and small lathis raided the residential house of Chintamani Sahu of village Kaimatia Patna under Jatni Police Station and bated the articles including cash and jewellery. They assaulted the inmates of the house and terrorised them by showing hand -bombs. They snatched away the ornaments which the female members were wearing. They broke open the boxes and almirahs and removed the valuables. The alarm raised by the inmates of the house attracted the attention of the villagers who assembled outside the house. The culprits retreated after taking the articles which they had removed from the house, and while going away they attacked the villagers who had gathered outside. In order to facilitate their escape one of the convicts named Hirmal Das threw a hand -bomb at Ramachandra Sahu, the eldest son of IL Chintamani which hit him on his chest and he fell down and died within a few hours. The villagers chased the dacoits and one of the dacoits named Babaji alias Alekh was caught red -handed. The others decamped with the booty. The accused Babaji who is a resident of the locality made a confessional statement before the villagers admitting that he had brought dacoits from Calcutta, Cuttack and Bhadrak for committing the crime. F.I.R. was lodged by P.W. 1 Chintamani Sahu at Jatni Police Station on the same day at 7 a.m. The accused Babaji was taken to custody by the police on the morning of 14 -12 -1972. The Appellant who is a resident of Bhadrak was arrested on 18 -12 -1972 at village Tulasipur under Khurda Police Station while he was negotiating with the villagers to dispose of some of the stolen ornaments. On 22 -12 -1972 Babaji made a judicial confession implicating himself as well as his co -accused persons in the crime. In course of investigation the other accused persons were arrested at different places. Some of the stolen articles were recovered from accused Sunil and Sambhu at Calcutta. A.T.I. parade was held on 27 -12 -1972 and the accused persons were identified by the witnesses. Another T.I. parade was held on 4 -1 -1973 and some of the stolen articles were identified by the inmates of the house as belonging to them. In due course the five accused persons were charge -sheeted by the police, but the other culprits remained untraced.
(3.) THE plea taken by the Appellant was that he was a dealer in goats and that on 18 -12 -1972 he had gone to village Tulasipur in connection with his goat business. The Gramarakhi (P.W. 22) and others demanded a sum of Rs. 200/ - from him as a donation for their village library. He refused to pay and told them that he would report the matter to the police. Thereupon the Gramarakhi and others brought him to the police station and got him arrested. He also alleged that his photograph was taken and he was shown to the identifying witnesses before the T.I. parade. He denied his alleged complicity in the crime.;

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