Kerala Forest Act, 1961 – Section 27 – Illegal possession of sandalwood oil -HELD in holding that the presumption that the seizure of forest produce belonging to the State, automatically can result in a presumption of culpable mental state of the accused- in other words, that seizure of the goods ipso facto meant that the appellant had conscious knowledge about their illicit nature or origin, or that the accused’s inability to account for a transit pass, implied that they procured the goods illegally, thus attracting Section 27 – given that the appellants had furnished a series of documents explaining how they had sourced the oil in question – State’s absence of diligence in producing those materials (which were in its possession) and proving that they were without credibility, cannot result in a conviction – Appeal allowed

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