JATTU SINGH Vs. STATE OF UTTARAKHAND
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND
STATE OF UTTARAKHAND
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Umesh Chandra Dhyani, J. -
(1.) A criminal complaint case was filed by the Divisional Forest Officer, Tehri Garhwal, against the accused Jattu Singh under the provisions of Indian Forest Act, alleging therein that on 13.09.2003, when Forest Guard C.H. Singh Kaintoora was on petrol duty, he heard the sound of felling and cutting of trees. When the patrolling party reached near the place of occurrence, they found that the accused -revisionist, along with four others, were cutting the trees, but escaped from the place of occurrence when patrolling party reached there. Patrolling party found two pine trees lying on the spot. One tree was cut into pieces and later on found in the courtyard of Amar Singh. When enquired, Amar Singh told that the logs belonged to Jattu Singh. All the 56 logs were recovered. After the inquiry, a criminal complaint was filed before the Magistrate against Jattu Singh, under Section 26 of the Indian Forest Act. Witnesses Hukam Singh, Forest Guard and Parma, Forester were examined in evidence. Statement of the accused was recorded under Section 313 Cr.P.C. After considering the evidence on record, the accused was found guilty of the offence under Section 26 of the Indian Forest Act. The accused was sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 3,000/ - and in default of payment of fine, he was required to undergo simple imprisonment for one month. Aggrieved against the said order, a criminal appeal No. 3 of 2006 was filed, which too was dismissed by learned Sessions Judge, Tehri Garhwal, vide impugned Judgment and Order dated 01.06.2007. Aggrieved against the said order, present criminal revision was preferred by the revisionist Jattu Singh.
(2.) SINCE none appeared for the revisionist despite notice, therefore, the criminal revision is being decided on merits with the assistance of Mr. M.A. Khan, learned AGA. No doubt, only the departmental persons were examined on behalf of the complainant and no independent witness was examined, but the fact remains that the offence complained of against the accused -revisionist was being committed at an isolated place in the jungle, where the availability of general public was remote. It was not normally expected. In the circumstances, it cannot be said that the departmental witnesses should not be relied upon. In the absence of independent witness, it is incumbent upon the Court to examine the witnesses carefully and with caution. Learned trial court as well as learned lower appellate court scrutinized the evidence of the complainant's witnesses, only to find that they (complainant's witnesses) were believable. The accused -revisionist himself has admitted that the timber of Pine Tree was kept by him in the house of Amar Singh (page 3 of the trial court judgment). In this way, it was acceptable to the accused himself that his timber was lying in the courtyard of Amar Singh (page 3 of the lower appellate court's judgment). It leaves no scope of doubt that the timber recovered from the courtyard of Amar Singh belonged to accused -revisionist Jattu Singh, who failed to show the source from where the timber was procured by him. There is no reason to disturb the concurrent findings of the Courts below. There appears to be no illegality in the Judgments of the trial court as well as the lower appellate court. No interference is thus called for in the impugned judgment. Criminal Revision is devoid of merit and is thus dismissed.;
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