HIGH COURT OF KERALA
Click here to view full judgement.
(1.) These appeals are by accused 1, 2 and 4 in C. C. 1/66 on the file of the Special Judge, Palghat. They were charged along with the 3rd accused who was acquitted, with having been members of a criminal conspiracy with the object of committing illegal acts to defraud the railway and the Federal Bank Limited, Alwaye by securing from the 4th accused, a senior Asst. Goods clerk in the Southern Railway at Alwaye, by false representations, railway receipts for transporting coconut oil to various places in India without actually producing coconut oil for booking and on the basis of such railway receipts, obtained money from the bank and caused wrongful loss to the bank and the railway. Accused 1 to 3 are brothers and they belong to the firm known as ''A Pareed Pillai and Brothers, Alwaye" (hereinafter referred to as the Firm). The business of the firm was to export coconut oil by rail to different places in India. The firm had been engaged in this business for over 15 years and according to the prosecution, by the beginning of 1963 the firm had run into debts and was confronted with a financial deadlock. The overdraft and other facilities they had with the bank were all drawn to the brim and the situation in which the firm was placed at the time was so disparaging that they were compelled to resort to the foul means of procuring railway receipts from the 4th accused without actually producing oil for booking. Finding that the 4th accused was amenable to their unwholesome design, all the 4 accused entered into a criminal conspiracy and in pursuance of the conspiracy, accused 1 and 2 presented forwarding notes to the 4th accused without producing coconut oil covered by the forwarding notes, and caused the 4th accused to issue railway receipts based on those forwarding notes to support hundies drawn by the accused on the Federal Bank Limited, Alwaye and monies were thus drawn from the bank. The prosecution related to 13 such bogus railway receipts. Two, out of the 13 RRs. were issued on 2-2-63; the one No. B 956401 in respect of 330 tins of coconut oil to be consigned to the party at Cuttack and the other No. B 956398, also in respect of 330 tins of coconut oil to the party at Cuttack. The third RR, is dated 13 2 63, No. B 956437 in respect of 350 tins of coconut oil to the consignee at Raniganj. The 4th RR. dated 25 2 63 No. B 956504 is in respect of 165 tins to Itwari and the 5th RR. of the same date No. B 956505 is in respect of 350 tins to Raniganj. Two other RRs dated 5 3 63 Nos. B 956540 and B 956543 are in respect of 200 and 130 tins respectively to the consignee at Itwari. On the same date two other RRs. were also issued Nos. B 956541 and B 956544 for 200 and 130 tins respectively to Itwari. Three other railway receipts were issued on 24-4-63 Nos. B 956664, B 956667 and B 956670 for 350, 330 and 330 tins respectively to Raniganj, Bilaspur and Itwari. On 24 4 63 RR. No. B 956671 was issued to the party at Bilaspur for 330 tins of coconut oil.
(2.) The Federal Bank having had to part with money on the false representation in the demand draft produced by the accused that coconut oil had been despatched and the Southern Railway having suffered damage in money having been drawn by the accused on production of the bogus RR, all the accused were charged with the offence of cheating under S.420 IPC. and / or read with S.109 IPC. The 4th accused being a government servant was also charged with S.5(2) read with S.5(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 (shortly stated the Act). He was also charged under S.197 IPC Accused 1 and 2 having abetted the 4th accused in the commission of the aforesaid offence under the Act were charged under the said sections read with S.109 IPC. The charge against the 3rd accused was mainly under S.120B (criminal conspiracy), in that he had transported empty tins to the railway station in furtherance of the conspiracy so that the 4th accused might issue railway receipts thinking that they were filled tins.
(3.) The accused denying the charge stated that no empty tins were ever transported by them to the railway station. The first accused stated in his 342 examination that the hundies were used to be sent to the bank which the bank used to discount and credit in their overdraft accounts. The RRs in respect of the hundies used to be handed over to the bank, only after the goods were booked. The practice of discounting hundies by the bank even before production of the RRs. was there, since a very long time, and the said practice was approved by all the officers of the bank. After the starting of the prosecution the bank called back all the outstanding bills and debited them in their account without consulting the accused and that is the reason why the overdraft account showed a high debit figure. As a matter of fact, according to the accused, the firm had purchased and paid for more than the quantity of oil booked from the railway station during the relevant period. The learned Special Judge rejecting the defence plea has convicted accused 1, 2 and 4. The first accused has been convicted under S.120B IPC. and sentenced to R1 for three years. He has been convicted under S.5(2) of the Act read with S.109 IPC. and sentenced to R1 for 3 years and a fine of Rs. 5000/-. He is also convicted under S.420 IPC. and sentenced to R1 for 1 year. The sentences are directed to run concurrently. The 2nd accused is convicted under S.120B IPC. and sentenced to R1 for 1 year. He is convicted under S.5(2) of the Act read with S.109 IPC. and sentenced to Rl for 1 year; under S.420 IPC. read with S.34 he has been sentenced to Rl for 1 year. He is also convicted under S.420 read with S.109 IPC. and sentenced to Rl for 1 year. The sentences are directed to run concurrently. The 4th accused is convicted under S.120B IPC. and sentenced to Rl for 3 years; under S.5(2) read with S.5(1)(d) of the Act he has been sentenced to R1 for 3 years. He is also convicted under S.420 read with S.109 IPC. and sentenced to Rl for 1 year. The sentences are to run concurrently. The 3rd accused has been acquitted. Criminal Appeal 174/67 is by accused 1 and 2 and 177/67 is by the 4th accused.;
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.