Decided on October 16,1968

Rajkumar Manisana Singh Appellant
Nameirakpam Angou Singh Respondents


C.JAGANNADHACHARYULU, J. - (1.) THIS is an appeal filed under Section 417(C), Criminal P.C., by the complainant in Criminal Case No. 1 of 1962 on the file of the Magistrate Second Class (Transport), Manipur, against the acquittal of the first respondent for an offence under Sections 126 and 127 of the Motor Vehicles Act.
(2.) THE case of the appellant is that he is the owner of Motor Vehicle Jeep No. MNS, 1368, that on 18 -6 -1961 it was hired by the Police to take some Police personnel to Khoubum camp from Imphal, that the driver M. Ibungohal Singh, was accompanied by a conductor Kh. Senapati Singh, that the jeep reached Khoubum on 18 -6 1961, that in the morning of 19 -6 -1961 when the driver and the conductor were taking tea at a canteen, the first respondent who is a Police Officer, entered into it and drove it, that he damaged the gear box and different parts of the jeep in such a way that it became unfit for use and that after repairing the Vehicle at a cost of about Rs. 1,000 the Vehicle was brought back to the complainant appellant on 2 -7.1961. It is also the case of the appellant that on 28 -6.1961, the matter was reported to the Superintendent of Police, Imphal, that on 14 -8 -1961 the drives lodged a complaint is Criminal Case No. 1 of 1961 before the Transport Magistrate but that the 1st respondent was 'discharged' on 15.8 -1962 due to the absence of both the parties. The appellant filed Criminal Case No. 1 of 1962 on 14 -4 -1962 against the first respondent under Sections 126 and 127 of the Motor Vehicles Act and against M. Ibungobal Singh under Sections 426, 84 and 109, I.P.C. The Magistrate took the case on file under Sections 126 and 127 of the Motor Vehicles Act, because he could try cases only under the said Act. The appellant examined himself as P. Ws. 1 and 4 witnesses (Khongbantabam Senapati Singh, Moirangthem Gopal Singh, Chabungbam Iburgohal Singh and Haorougbam Amujao Singh) as P. Ws. 2 to 5. The first respondent filed written statement denying the offence. The Magistrate discussed the evidence and held that though there was a probability that the first respondent might have entered into the jeep, when it was parked, and drove it, still there is no evidence to substantiate the offence and that, therefore, the first respondent is entitled to the benefit of doubt. The learned Magistrate did not pass any order against the second accused, as he was said to have absconded.
(3.) THE points which were argued and which arise for determination are: (i) whether the first respondent is guilty of the offences under Sections 126 and 127 of the Motor Vehicles Act. (ii) whether the present case is not mainnable and is barred by Section 403, Criminal P.C. and (iii) whether the Magistrate was correct in dropping the proceedings against the driver - -Meitram Ibungohal Singh. ;

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