Decided on January 11,1900

KALAI Appellant


Prinsep and Stanley, JJ - (1.) THE question raised in this case is whether the person, who is said to have been rescued by the petitioners, was, at the time of such rescue, lawfully detained within the terms of Section 225 of the Indian Penal Code, so as to make such act by the petitioners punishable. It appears that he was arrested by a private person within the terms of Section 59 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and that he was not lawfully arrested because the alleged offence--theft-- was not committed in the view of such person. He was then made over for custody to the village-chaukidar. THE question then arises whether, on the delivery of such person to the custody of the village-chaukidar, he can from that time be considered to be in lawful detention, so far as the village-chaukidar is concerned, so as to bring him within the terms of Section 225 of the Indian Penal Code. THE decision on this point depends upon the interpretation to be put upon the term Police officer in Section 59 of the Criminal P. C.. THE only authority cited to us, which is at all in point, is the case of Empress V/s. Kallu (1880) I.L.E., 3 All., 60. We are of opinion that a village-chaukidar cannot be properly regarded as a police officer within the terms of Section 59. THE duties of such an officer are in Bengal defined in Section 13 of Act I (B.C.) of 1892, and Clause (4) of that section declares that amongst such duties "he shall assist private persons in making such arrests as they may lawfully make, and shall report such arrests without delay to the officer in charge of the said police station." Now, having regard to the terms of this local Act, it seems to us that the Legislature contemplated that such a person was merely to assist in a private arrest, and report the fact of such private arrest to the police station, and that it was not contemplated that he should exercise the duties set out in Section 59, that is, receive a person arrested by a private person or re-arrest him and take him to the nearest Police station. On these grounds we think that the person, whose rescue forms the subject of the charge of which the petitioners have been convicted, was not in lawful detention at the time of such rescue. THE rule is, therefore, made absolute, and the conviction and sentence set aside.;

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