Decided on July 04,1997

STATE OF H.P. Respondents

Referred Judgements :-



Arun Kumar Goel, J. - (1.)All the appellants along with Om Parkash son of Dhana Ram were challaned and prosecuted before the Special Judge, Shimla in Criminal Case No. 30-S/7 of 1988. By means of impugned judgment dated 28-12-1989, appellants have been held guilty. Appellants Giaru Ram, Chattar Singh, Nathu Ram, Partap Singh and Dhana Ram were held guilty of offences under Sections 120-B, 167, 218, 379 of the Indian Penal Code. Sec. 33 of the Indian Forest Act and Sec. 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Appellant Dhana Ram was convicted for the offences under Sections 120-B and 379 of the I.P.C. and Sec. 33 of the Indian Forest Act, whereas other appellants, namely, Giaru Ram, Chattar Singh, Nathu Ram and Partap Singh were punished for offences under Sections 120-B, 167,218 of the i.P.C. and Sec. 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. In the opinion of the trial Court, none of the appellants was entitled to benefit of either under Sec. 18 of the Probation of Offenders Act or Sec. 360 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Consequently, the sentences imposed upon each one of the appellants is as under; JUDGEMENT_52_LAWS(HPH)7_1997_1.html All sentences have been ordered to run concurrently and further trial Court was of the view that there was no necessity to pass separate sentences under Sec. 120-B of the Indian Penal Code. Appellants have questioned this judgment passed by the trial Court in the present appeal.
(2.)In Order to properly appreciate the submissions of Shri G. D. Verma, learned counsel appearing for the appellants, it is considered necessary to notice facts of this case. All the appellants and Om Parkash were prosecuted for offences punishable under Sections 120-B, 167, 218, 379, 468, 471 of the Indian Penal Code, Sec. 33 of the Indian Forest Act and Sec. 5 (2) of Prevention of Corruption Act. According to prosecution, all the persons accused in the case had entered into a conspiracy and as a consequence thereof, illicit demarcation was stated to have been given by Giaru Ram, Field Kanungo and further the trees were illegally marked by forest officials, namely, Chattar Singh, Nathu Ram and Partap Singh. This conspiracy was hatched with a purpose to cause wrongful loss aimed at giving undue advantage to the appellant Dhana Ram. It was further case of the prosecution that either for obtaining personal gain for themselves or to provide the same to Dhana Ram and his son Om Parkash, this conspiracy was hatched by all the persons accused of the offences which resulted in causing substantial financial loss to the State, as the forest and revenue officials knowing well that it is their duty not only to give correct demarcation as also to mark the trees standing on the private land of the land owners, but also to ensure that no illicit felling takes places, sides it being also their duty to protect the Government property in their capacity as public servants.
(3.)One Sukh Ram resident of village Khagna had entered into an agreement to sell standing trees on his land comprised in Khasra No. 20, 21, 18, 32, 40 and 52 to appellant Dhana Ram. Before the sale of these trees, the applicant Sukh Ram was required to get demarcation of his land, for which purpose he moved an application before the Tehsildar, Chopal. Another application was also moved by him before Divisional Forest Officer, Chopal for marking of trees after the demarcation had been undertaken by the revenue staff. Application for demarcation addressed to Tehsildars Chopal was forwarded by him to Giaru Ram. Field Kanungo, who carried out the same in the presence of Chattar Singh Assistant Conservator of Forest, Nathu Ram Block Forest Officer and Partap Singh Field Kanungo, besides these persons Dhana Ram appellant and Sukh Ram were also present at the time of demarcation. 50 trees were marked by Chattar Singh according to prosecution after demarcation with his personal hammer No. HP-1122. At the end of the marking list, certificate was appended by appellants other than Dhana Ram to the effect that none of the marked trees was on the Government land which adjoined the land of Sukh Ram. Chattar Singh appellant on the basis of these marking lists had- recommended the case to the Divisional Forest Officer, Chopal to issue felling order in respect of said trees and felling order was issued in favour of Sukh Ram vide No. 5041/R dated 31-8-1980. Further case of the prosecution is that Chattar Singh appellant wrote another letter to the Divisional Forest Officer, Chopal that demarcation of land comprising in Khasra No. 52 was undertaken on 29-8-1980 and as a consequence of such demarcation, 17 trees were marked, marking list of such trees was prepared where Chattar Singh had mentioned that no tree had been marked on the Government land. Chattar Singh appellant had written on the same day to the Divisional forest Officer, Chopal to issue felling permission regarding these 17 marked trees, which permission was granted vide felling order No. 3/CC dated 30-9-1980. Since the necessary permission to fell trees had been accorded by the Divisional Forest Officer, Chopal, therefore, Dhana Ram appellant felled those trees and converted them into scants along with his son Om Parkash (since acquitted). After conversion of timber, launching lists were prepared by Dhana Ram appellant and the same were verified by the forest officials above named whereon also certificate was recorded to the effect that no tree had been felled from the Government land, on the basis of such launching lists, export permits were issued by the Divisional Forest Officer, Chopal in favour of Dhana Ram appellant pursuant to which the entire converted timber was exported.

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