STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH Vs. MOHAN LAL
LAWS(HPH)-1997-5-33
HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
Decided on May 21,1997

STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH Appellant
VERSUS
MOHAN LAL Respondents

JUDGEMENT

ARUN KOMAR GOEL J. - (1.)Heard learned counsel for the parties and with their assistance records of the case have also been examined.
(2.)The respondent was prosecuted under section 33 of the Indian Forest (Act for having allegedly encroached upon the demarcated forest D Gohach C -III, measuring 6 bighas. This fact was noticed by PW -1 Gurcharan Singh, forest guard while he was on patrol duty on 1st September, 1988. At such point of time, PW -1 Gurcharan Singh forest guard was accompanied by Patwan PW -4 Pratap Singh. When questioned, the respondent is alleged to have admitted before PW -1 having encroached upon Government land when damage report was prepared vide Ex.PW -1/A and Iqbal Nama was recorded vide memo Ex.PW -1/B, but the respondent is stated to have declined to sign the said Iqbal Name (confessional statement). PW -4 prepared the tatima of the encroached area vide memo E.X.PW -4/A as also delivered the copy of jamabandi Ex.PW -4/B. Because the respondent had declined to sign the Iqbal Nama, therefore, PW -1 reported the matter to Block Officer (PW -3) who after verifying the spot as reported by the former, issued notice Ex.PW -2/A to the respondent. By means of this notice, the respondent was required to pay the damages. Since the latter refused the payment, in these circumstances a case in 4er section 33 of the Indian Forest Act was initiated against the respondent before the trial court.
(3.)After the respondent had appeared, the trial court was satisfied on perusal of challan papers filed before it that there are circumstances for proceeding against the respondent under section 33 of the Indian Forest Act, therefore, notice of accusation under section 251 of the Criminal Procedure Code was issued to him. The respondent pleaded not guilty to the notice and claimed trial. After recording the statements of five PWs and after taking into account the damage report Ex.PW -1/A, prepared by PW -1, Ex.PW -1/B Iqbal Nama for signing which die respondent is stated to have refused, tatima : Ex.PW -4/A prepared by the Patwari and Jamabandi Ex.PW -4/B, has acquitted the respondent of the aforesaid offences, hence this appeal at the instance of State wherein the acquittal of the respondent has been questioned.


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