LAL BAHADUR SHRIRAMDATTA CHAUDHARI Vs. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
LAWS(SC)-1990-10-44
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: BOMBAY)
Decided on October 09,1990

LAL BAHADUR SHRIRAMDATTA CHAUDHARI Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA Respondents

JUDGEMENT

Fathima Beevi, J. - (1.)The appeal by special leave is directed against the judgment and order dated 25-7-1979 in Criminal Revision Application No. 57 of 1979 of the High Court of Bombay upholding the conviction of the appellant under Section 409, I.P.C., but reducing the sentence of one year R.I. to three months R.I. and a fine of Rs. 1,000/- and in default of payment of fine further imprisonmerit for a period of three months.
(2.)The appellant was serving as Quality Inspector of the Food Corporation of India in charge of the Corporation's Depot at Jalgaon. His duty was to make purchases of Udid, get them milled and then despatch them to military centres as per directions. This Udid was stored in the Corporation's godown. The appellant was to maintain accounts and was responsible for the entire stock. In the godown, one clerk and two watchmen worked under the appellant. Prabhat Dal Mill had taken a milling contract from the Corporation but that contract had come to an end on 13-6-1975. Shamuvel Kharat was the watchman on duty on 12-8-1975. The prosecution case is that the appellant on 12-8-1975 surreptitiously and unauthorisedly sold ten bags of Udid to Prabhat Dal Mill and misappropriated the proceeds. These bags were transported in a truck and Shamuvel Karath saw the removal and delivery of the ten bags. He also detected 10 bags missing from one row in the godown. He gave a telegram to the head office at Indore and on the next day lodged the complaint at the police station. It is also the case of the prosecution that the appellant had similarly sold ten bags of Udid on 30-6-1975 to S. K. Dal Mill. After investigation, a case was registered and chargesheeted against the appellant and accused 2, 3 and 4, who were the owners of the two Mills. The trial Court acquitted accused 2, 3 and 4 but convicted the appellant. The conviction was confirmed by the Sessions Judge in appeal. The revision petition filed against the judgment of the Sessions Judge was dismissed by the High Court.
(3.)In the course of the investigation, the police seized 10 bags of Udid with the stamp of F. C. I. printed on them from Prabhat Dal Mill. The stock register of the Mill was also seized. P.W. 10, the Assistant Manager of F.C.l., conducted the physical verification of the stock in August, 1975 and as per the verification report Ex. 67, there was a shortage of 21 quintal and 40 kilograms of dal. The trial Court recorded the conviction against the appellant mainly accepting the evidence of the watchman Shamuvel Kharat, the recovery from the Prabhat Dal Mill, the shortage detected and other materials on record. The learned Sessions Judge carefully scrutinised the entire evidence and has also come to the conclusion that the case against the appellant has been established. The High Court did not find any infirmity in the appreciation of the evidence or the application of the legal principles to justify any interference. In disposing of the revision petition, the High Court has also, considered the various contentions advanced on behalf of the appellant and referred to the material evidence for the purpose of disposing the same.
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