Mir Alfaz Ali, J. -
(1.) All these 9 appeals being against the common judgment and order dated 06.10.2004, passed by the learned Special Judge in Spl. Case No. 39/2004 are taken together for hearing and disposal. By the said judgment, the learned Special Judge convicted all the appellants, namely, 1. A.J Tayeng 2. H. Kanjamba, 3. H Jogeswar Singh, 4. R. K. Ranjit Singh, 5. Lalit Kumar Singh, 6. Arun Sukhlani, 7. Katu Ram Choudhry, 8. Om Prakash Singh, 9. Iswar Singh Bagga, (hereinafter referred to as A-1, A-2, A-3, A-4, A-5, A-6, A-7, A-8 & A-9 respectively) under Section 120(B) IPC and sentenced them to rigorous imprisonment for 6 months and fine of Rs. 5000/- with default stipulation. The appellants A-1 to A-5 were also convicted under Section 5(2) R/W Section 5(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (P.C. Act), 1947 and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for one year and fine of Rs. 5000/-. The substantive sentences of imprisonment were directed to run concurrently in respect of all the 9 appellants.
(2.) As per prosecution case, the Government of India, Ministry of Shipping and Transport vide gazette notification dated 19.12.1977 authorized each of the State Governments and Union Territories to issue 50 National Tourist Bus Permits, having validity throughout India. Accordingly, the State of Manipur was authorized to issue 50 such All India Tourist Bus Permits. The Government of Manipur, Transport Department already issued 50 such All India National Tourist Bus Permit till 02.05.1981. However, the appellants A-1 to A-5 being public servant entered into criminal conspiracy with the A-6 to A-9 and three others, namely, S.N. Shetty (since acquitted), Nanda Kumar Bhatia (since acquitted) and Inder Prakash Chhabra (since acquitted) and one A.W. Vorei (since deceased), the then Director, Transport Department, Government of Manipur, to do some illegal acts and offences, with intention to cheat the Government of Manipur, as well as, to issue National Tourist Bus Permits illegally, beyond the permissible quota of 50, fixed by the Government of India and in the process of such criminal conspiracy, the appellants A-1 to A-5 acquired for themselves huge amount of money by issuing false and illegal permits to the bus operators, in violation of the provision of Motor Vehicle Act and Rules.
(3.) An FIR was lodged in the year 1985 alleging the above mentioned illegal acts and the matter was investigated by the CBI. On completion of investigation, charge sheet was submitted on 04.09.1999 against 12 persons including the present appellants, alleging commission of various offences under the Indian Penal Code, as well as the Prevention of Corruption Act. Initially charge sheet was filed before the Court in Bombay. Later, on prayer of the appellants, the case was transferred to the court of the Special Judge, Assam by the Hon'ble Supreme Court. During investigation, one of the accused, namely, A.W. Vorei died.;