Decided on September 14,1983

STATE Respondents


A.P.RAVANI - (1.) Rule Mr. M. A. Bukhari A. P. P. waives service of the Rule for the respondent-State in Criminal Revision Applications Nos. 516 of 1983 to 1082 of 1983.
(2.) During the course of hearing of Criminal Revision Application No. 92 of 1983 Criminal Revision Applications Nos. 85 to 91 of 1983 and Criminal Revision Application No. 432 of 1981 filed by the present petitioner-accused it transpired that there were more than 600 cases against the petitioner-accused on the allegation that while in service as a Police Constable at Dhanera Police Station he came into possession of printed warrant books maintained for the purposes of journey by S.T. bus. On the strength of such warrant a Police Constable and accused in custody and certain other persons could travel by bus up to a destination mentioned in the warrant. When such a warrant is shown to the S. T. bus conductor a person is not required to make payment of S. T. fare charges and the amount of S T. fare charges would be later on recovered by the S. T. from the Police Department. Since the number of warrants so alleged to have been misused ran into hundreds the cases against the accused were required to be separated on account of technical considerations. Therefore as many as more than 600 cases were filed against him. The sentence imposed upon him was for a different period and it ranged from three months to two years. It appears that initi- ally even the trial court did not pass order that the substantive sentence passed indifferent cases should run concurrently. In some of the cases the petitioner-accused preferred appeal and on appeal the learned Sessions Judge Banaskantha at Palanpur slightly reduced the sentence imposed upon the accused and ordered that the substantive sentence imposed upon the accused should run concurrently. Thereafter in the month of March 1983 when the aforesaid group of revision applications came up for hearing before me almost in despair the petitioner-accused submitted that he had nothing to say and he submitted that he was desirous to withdraw the revision applications. A writing to this effect already prepared and kept ready was produced with the help of an officer of the jail who had accompanied with him. This was unusual. Hence I considered it necessary to probe further. On inquiry I found that a total amount of misappropriation in all the 600 and odd cases would come to about Rs. 13 0 The details from the jail authorities were called for. It was found that he was required to undergo substantive sentence up to 29/11/1982 The petitioner remained in jail for a period of about 4 months prior to 29/10/1980 he again remained in jail from December 1980 onwards. the period of substantive sentence of imprisonment required above undergone by him expired on 29/11/1982 Thereafter he was required to remain in jail because he could not pay the amount of fine imposed upon him.
(3.) On further inquiry it was found that the total amount of fine imposed upon him in all the cases came to Rs. 54 410 What an enormous amount for the petitioner-accused who was serving as Class III servant and who became prey to certain circumstances in life? And look at the tragedy. It this amount is not paid (and it was impos- sible for him to make payment of this amount at least in this life he would be required to remain in jail up to 29/10/1992 Thus for an amount of Rs. 13 0 involved in the offences hold prove against the accused he was - required to undergo imprisonment for a period commencing from 29/12/1980 till 29/10/1992 over and above 41/2 months period already undergone by him prior to 29/10/1980 This would mean that he was require to undergo imprisonment for a period of about 12 years and 3 monthS for offences involving an amount of Rs. 13 0 This is shockingly disproportionate. It appeared to me that while administering formal justice great injustice has been done to the petitioner-accused. Therefore I ordered to take all the remaining cases into suo motu revision and called for the record. I appointed the learned advocate Shri C. K. Takwani to look into all the cases and assist the Court.;

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