PANDITA ALIAS RAHMATULLA PRAMANIK Vs. RAHIMULLA AKUNDO
PANDITA ALIAS RAHMATULLA PRAMANIK
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Prinsep, JJ -
(1.) A rule has been granted to consider whether the conviction and sentence passed on the petitioner in a summary trial for theft should not be set aside. The sole question for consideration is whether the Magistrate has found facts constituting theft, or whether the petitioner is not guilty of that offence because he cut and carried off the crop, under a bond fide belief that he was entitled to it, that is to say, whether he acted dishonestly within the terms of Sec. 24 of the Indian Penal Code.
(2.) The Magistrate has found that the complainant was in actual possession of the disputed land, and that the crops which stood on the same were grown by the bargadars." He adds: And the accused was by no means justified in cutting them away. The mere setting up of a claim to the land which has not been clearly proved by reliable evidence is not sufficient to exonerate him from the liability of theft." I understand from this that the Magistrate has found that the claim is not bona fide because he has not proved it to be so by reliable evidence to rebut the finding that the crop was grown by the complainant. I do not understand that he has tried or attempted to try any question of title. He had previously found possession with the complainant. If his bargadars had grown the crops as found and nevertheless the accused cut and carried them off there could, in my opinion, be no bond fide belief that he was entitled to do so to justify his action in regard to the complaint, the cutting and removing of the crop grown by another, whatever may be the claim in respect of title set up by the accused.
(3.) I think that we are bound to discourage such acts which amount to the taking of the law into his own hands by a person, who being out of possession, is bound to establish his title in the proper way, that is in the Civil Court.;
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