BIMBADHAR SENAPATI AND ANR. Vs. STATE
LAWS(ORI)-1988-8-30
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
Decided on August 22,1988

Bimbadhar Senapati And Anr. Appellant
VERSUS
STATE Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

SUKCHAND HARIJAN AND ORS. V. STATE OF ORISSA AND ANR [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

L. Rath, J. - (1.)THE two Petitioners having been convicted under Sections 379/34 I.P.C. and sentenced to fine of Rs. 50/ - each in default to undergo S.I. for a week each, have preferred this revision.
(2.)THE allegations against the Petitioners were that on 12.11.82 they, through their labourers, removed the paddy crop from the land belonging to P.Ws. 1 and 4 cultivated through their tenant P.W. 2. The stolen paddy was carried in bundles to the Khalabari of one Natabar Senapati from where the same was seized.
Mr. Padhi, the learned Counsel for the Petitioners, raised two contentions. Firstly, that the labourers who had actually cut and removed the paddy having not been proceeded against as accused persons, the charge under Sections 379/34 I.P.C. against the Petitioners only was not sustainable and secondly, as the evidence revealed lack of mens rea against the Petitioners their conviction cannot be upheld.

(3.)SO far as the first submission of Mr. Padhi is concerned, I do not find any force in the same. If the prosecuting agencies decided not to proceed against the labourers who were merely employed by the Petitioners to remove the paddy, then it would not automatically mean failure of the prosecution against the Petitioners under whose direction the paddy was cut. The labourers who were engaged for monetary reward to carry out the orders of the masters did not necessarily have the mans rea for commission of the offence and hence it may not be necessary for the State to proceed against them. A some what similar question was discussed by this Court in, (1988) I OCR 24 (Sukchand Harijan and Ors. v. State of Orissa and Anr.) wherein it was held that in a case under Section 379 I.P.C. the labourers engaged for cutting paddy were not liable to be convicted since there was total lack of criminality in them.


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