Decided on March 01,2013

RAKESH GOYAL Respondents


Alok Singh, J. - (1.) BY filing this appeal, State of Uttarakhand has invoked jurisdiction of this Court under Section 378(3) of Cr.P.C. assailing the judgment and order dated 02.09.2000 passed by Judicial Magistrate, Haridwar thereby acquitting the accused respondents from the charges punishable under Section 26 of the Indian Forest Act, 1927 read with Rule 3/28 of U.P. Transit of Timber and Forest Produce Rules, 1978.
(2.) BRIEF facts, inter alia, are that a complaint was filed against the respondents with the averment that on 09.10.1998 in the noon, some forest officials of the Haridwar Forestry raided the factory of respondent No. 1 situated in Kankhal where a number of Khair wood logs were found; respondent No. 1 was asked to produce the papers regarding transportation of the same but he was unable to produce relevant papers, although he had shown certain photo copies of the documents of transportation of Khair wood. Not being satisfied, Khair wood logs were seized and recovery memo was prepared on the spot and copy whereof was handed over to respondent No. 2 (Munshi of respondent No. 1). On the criminal complaint filed by the Forest Department, accused respondents were summoned by the learned Magistrate. Respondents took the defence that Khair wood logs found in their factory were duly purchased by them and these were neither stolen nor transported by them in violation of any Rule or Regulation or Law. Before the Magistrate, P.W. 1 Mehkar Singh, P.W. 2 R.P. Verma, P.W. 3 Rajendra Pal Singh Negi and P.W. 4 Yashpal Singh were examined from the side of prosecution but none of them could prove beyond reasonable doubt that Khair wood logs found in the factory of respondents were, in fact, stolen items nor they could point out that these were stolen from which particular area of forest. From the side of defence, respondent themselves appeared as witness and had claimed ownership of the Khair wood seized from their factory.
(3.) LEARNED Magistrate, after examining the entire material produced before him from either side, has correctly opined that prosecution has failed to prove the guilt of the accused respondents while respondents are successful in proving that Khair wood logs were purchased and transported by them under valid documents.;

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