Advocate Discovers Century-Old Court Order in Mango Theft Case

In a remarkable discovery, Advocate Poonit Mahimkar has unearthed a century-old court order from Maharashtra’s Thane district, related to an unusual case of mango theft. The order, dated July 5, 1924, was issued by Magistrate TA Fernandes, who convicted four young men for stealing mangoes but chose to release them with an admonition rather than sentencing them to avoid ruining their futures.

Mahimkar stumbled upon this historical document while shifting residences in Thane city. Hidden in a bag in the mezzanine, which had been overlooked possibly for decades, the advocate found not only some old property papers but also the copy of the magistrate’s order.

The case, titled ‘Crown Vs Anjelo Alwares and 3 others,’ involved charges under sections 379/109 of the Indian Penal Code. It centered around the theft of 185 green mangoes. According to the order, the accused were caught red-handed plucking mangoes from a field owned by Bostiav Ellis Andraden, who later saw them selling the stolen goods to a local dealer.

Despite the defence’s plea of innocence, Magistrate Fernandes found overwhelming evidence of guilt. In his ruling, he stated, “Considering the whole evidence, I am satisfied that accused are guilty of the offence of theft. But they are all young men and I have no wish to ruin their life by sentencing them, and they have moreover no previous conviction. Accordingly, I convict them under section 379/109 and release them after due admonition.”

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