Decided on November 11,1992



- (1.)IN the case of theft of idols from a temple, it is very difficult to trace them. The reason is that the temple will be locked during nights and nobody takes careof what has happened during nights and on the next day the poojari comes and opens the doors of the temple, he notices the idols or some jewels being lost, and then a complaint will be given to die police and investigation starts. Just like that in this case on 25-9-86 some unknown offenders broke open the lock of the temple and committed theft of Panchaloha idols of Pattabhiramaswamyvaru, Seethammavaru and Lakshmanaswamyvaru. P.W.1 is the Poojari of the said temple, who on coming to know about the theft, went to the temple and found missing the Panchaloha idols. P.W.1 and odier villagers searched die sorrounding area, but they could not trace the idols. On 29-6-86 at about 10 A.M. P.W.1 gave a report to the S.I., Mudivedu. On 6-8-87 at about 3 P.M. P.W.5 and his staff on prior information came to C.T.M. Railway Station along with mediators and found A-1 and A-2 present there having two gunny bags containing something On seeing the Police A-l and A-2 tried to run away. But the police apprehended A-1 and A-2 and searched and seized the idols of Seediammavaru from A-1 and Lakshmanaswamyvaru from A-2. Consequent to the information furnished by A-1, the Police and mediators went to Bangalore and arrested A-3 the petitioner herein and seized the idol Pattabhiramaswamivaru. The lower appellate court found that from the evidence of P.Ws.1 to 3, the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt that a theft had been taken place on 25-9-86 and M.Os.1 to 3 belonging to the templeof Sri Pattabhiramaswamyvaru at Kalicherlu village within the limits of Madivedu Police State are lost. So also the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt from the evidence of P.Ws.4 and 5 and under Ex.P-2 the recovery of M.O.2 from the possession of A-1 and M.0.3 from the possession of A-2 and under Ex.P-3 the recovery of M.O.1 from A-3. IN pursuance of the information given by A-1, M.O.I is recovered from the possession of A-3 the petitioner herein. There is absolutely no reason to disbelieve the evidence of P.Ws.4 and 5 who speak about the arrest of A-1 to A-3 and recovery of M.Os. 1 to 3. Once the arrest of A-1 to A-3 and recovery of M.Os.l to 3 from them is proved, the burden shifts to the accused to account for the possession of M.Os.1 to 3 and that burden has not been discharged. I see no reason to disagree with that finding. So a case under Sec.411 I.P.C.i.e., possession of stolen property is proved beyond all reasonable doubt against the petitioner. Hence the conviction of the petitioner is confirmed, but the sentece of two years R.I is reduced to one year R.I. The fine amont shall stand as it is With the above modification in sentence the criminal revision case is dismissed.

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