B.L. Hansaria, J. - (1.)THIS case relates to theft of Government money amounting to Rs. 1,20,736.30, which was put inside two steel trunks to carry the same under the escort of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel to the office of the Extra -Assistant Commissioner, Tuting (in Arunachal Pradesh) for distribution to staff. This was on 20.1.78. It was a part of regular monthly practice, since Tuting is about 6/7 day foot march from the last road head Yingkiong. After the normal checking of boxes, their locks and seals were completed, and these were carried to the CRPF Quarter Guard situated at a distance of about 300 metres from the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Along. P.W. 3 was the Guard Commander under whom were three Constables including accused Petitioner Golam Hussain. The boxes had been curried to the Quarter Guard by about 4.30 P.M., After about an hour accused Ram Lal, Ganga Singh and Golam Hussain (All CRPF personnel) met at the C.R.P.F Camp and plotted to take out cash from the said steel funks that very night. In pursuance of this conspiracy, accused Golam Hussain, who was on duty at the said Quarter Guard from mid -night of 20th to 2 A.M. of 21st, woke up accused Ram Lal a little after mid -night who in his turn, got accused Ganga Sigh up. The barrack in which Rum Lal and Ganga were sleeping was close to the Quarter Guard. Accused Golam Hussain remained on guard duty while accused Ram Lal raised the lower portion of the bamboo door of the Quarter Guard and Ganga Singh entered inside through the gap. Reaching inside, Ganga Singh opened the steel trunk by manipulating the hasp and staple (" kunda") with a bar of plier and took out five bundles of currency notes. In the meantime accused Ram Lal brought two pieces of gunny bag with one piece of stone which was kept inside the steel trunk in such a way that it might not appear latter on that anything was removed from the box, Ganga Singh after doing this exercise, replaced the hasp and staple in the original position. After completing his job Ganga Singh came out of the Quarter Guard by the way through which he went in. Coming out Ganga Singh handed over four bundles to accused Ram Lal keeping the fifth with him. Ram Lal went out of the C.R.P.F. premises with the money and buried it in the ground under the rostrum of the field which is across the road. The bundle of money kept by accused Ganga Singh had contained Rs. 7,717.36, of which he gave Rs. 2,000/ - to Ram Lal and kept Rs. 5,000/ - under some dry leaves outside the fencing of the C.R.P.F. premises which was later on found out by a sweeper on 27th January. Ram Lal offered Rs. 1,000/ - to Golam Hussain who did not accept it then and stated that he would do so latter on. On 31st January accused Ram Lal met accused Bishen Singh (of B.S.F.) and stated to the latter that as the C.R.P.F. Company was shortly to leave Along, the former proposed to keep some of his baggage's with Bishen Singh. On the latter agreeing to it, a steel trunk was given to him for keeping the same in his residence. The money which had been kept below the rostrum by Ram Lal was put inside the trunk.
(2.)IN the meantime on 2lst January, the Political Interpreter, Along with 3. C.R.P.F. escorts took out the steel trunks from the Quarter Guard and carried it to Yinkiong. On opening the trunk there, it was found that five bundles of cash were missing from the box and instead two pieces of gunny bag and about half -a -kg of stone were found in its place. The matter was brought to the notice of D.C., Along and O.C. of the C.R.P.F.. Investigation of the case started and police recovered in a pit latrine on 1.2.78 the statement showing details of Rs. 7,717.35 which was with the cash. On 5.2.78, accused Ram Lal confessed before police and led it to the house of accused Bishen Singh wherein Rs. 1,12,924.30 along with a steel trunk was seized by police, Judicial confession of all the accused persons were also recorded on 11.2.78 by learned Magistrate Shri Harbaus Singh ; and police seized the next day a sum of Rs. 1,370/ -from accused Ram Lal and Rs. 200/ - from accused Ganga Singh.
On completion of investigation, the four above named accused persons were sent up for trial. A charge under Section 414 I.P.C. was framed against accused Bishen Singh; and under Sections 437 and 380 read with Section 34 against the three other accused persons. On these charges being explained they pleaded guilty. However, the learned trial Court instead of convicting them on their pleading guilty, proceeded with trial, in the course of which 16 witnesses were examined who unfolded the aforesaid prosecution story. On being satisfied about the guilt of the accused on the basis of the evidence recorded in the case as well as the confessional statements made by them coupled with aforesaid recoveries, the learned trial Court found the accused guilty of the charges framed against them and sentenced accused Ganga Singh, Ram Lal and Golam Hussain to imprisonment for three years for their offence under Sections 457/34 and for two years under Section 380. These sentences were ordered to run concurrently. Accused Bishen Singh was found guilty under Section 414 and was sentenced to undergo R.I. for one year.

(3.)AN appeal was preferred against the conviction and sentence before the learned Deputy Commissioner, Along, who maintained the conviction, but reduced the sentence to the period undergone. The present revision has been filed only by Golam Hussain, Ganga Singh and Ram Lal. Though, the Petitioners have served out the sentences in the meantime, their conviction remains which has stigmatized them, and hence the revision has been pressed for decision.

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