R JANAKIRAMAN Vs. STATE INSPECTOR POLICE CBI SPE MADRAS
LAWS(SC)-2006-1-63
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: MADRAS)
Decided on January 04,2006

R.JANAKIRAMAN Appellant
VERSUS
STATE Respondents





Cited Judgements :-

ANONDA CHANDRA SAIKIA VS. MADHU RAM SAIKIA [LAWS(GAU)-2008-1-37] [REFERRED TO]
YARRAM KRISHNA RAO VS. MUTTAMALLA NARSAMMA [LAWS(APH)-2008-10-57] [REFERRED TO]
YERRAM KRISHNA RAO VS. MUTTAMALLA NARSAMMA [LAWS(APH)-2009-10-44] [REFERRED TO]
RIDE MASTER RIMS PRIVATE LTD VS. ING VYSYA BANK LTD [LAWS(MAD)-2006-7-177] [REFERRED TO]
PONNUSAMY VS. K K SUBRAMANIAM [LAWS(MAD)-2010-6-143] [REFERRED TO]
GAURI SHANKAR GIRI VS. STATE OF CHHATTISGARH [LAWS(CHH)-2011-11-42] [REFERRED TO]
PARAMVIR SINGH VS. STATE OF PUNJAB [LAWS(P&H)-2007-1-6] [REFERRED TO]
KASHIRAM S/O PHATTUJI RATHORE VS. MITTHULAL [LAWS(MPH)-2012-9-26] [REFERRED TO]
KASHIRAM VS. MITTHULAL [LAWS(MPH)-2012-9-251] [REFERRED TO]
SURESH VS. TOBIN [LAWS(KER)-2011-9-69] [REFERRED TO]
SURESH C.V. VS. TOBIN [LAWS(KER)-2012-9-410] [REFERRED TO]
JOSEOH VS. STATE OF KERALA [LAWS(KER)-2013-8-161] [REFERRED TO]
MONEYLINE CREDIT LTD. VS. SANJEEV KUMAR [LAWS(DLH)-2014-9-265] [REFERRED TO]
TIPPU MOHAMMED VS. STATE OF KERALA [LAWS(KER)-2014-11-191] [REFERRED TO]
VIMAL CHAND GHEVARCHAND JAIN VS. RAMAKANT EKNATH JAJOO [LAWS(SC)-2009-3-167] [RELIED UPON]
EX CT GD ASHOK KUMAR VS. UOI [LAWS(DLH)-2011-9-382] [REFERRED TO]
D VIJAYALAKSHMI VS. T K VIJAY KUMAR [LAWS(APH)-2011-11-88] [REFERRED TO]
INDUKURU RAMACHANDRAREDDY VS. AGNIGUNDALA [LAWS(APH)-2011-10-76] [REFERRED TO]
TUKARAM VS. HEMALATHA [LAWS(KAR)-2010-2-123] [REFERRED TO]
C R VENKATAPATHY VS. DEPUTY COMMERCIAL TAX OFFICERPALLADAM CIRCLE COIMBATORE DISTRICT [LAWS(MAD)-2010-3-68] [REFERRED TO]
BHARATLAL (DEAD) THROUGH L.RS. VS. SMT. KASTURIBAI & OTHERS [LAWS(CHH)-2012-6-68] [REFERRED TO]
K.J.ABRAHAM, S/O.YOHANNAN VS. MRS.MARIAMMA ITTY, W/O.P.M.ITTY [LAWS(KER)-2016-5-43] [REFERRED TO]
SMT. RAMESH KUMARI VS. STATE OF NCT OF DELHI [LAWS(DLH)-2016-7-30] [REFERRED TO]
M/S NEW ERA IMPEX (INDIA) PVT LTD VS. M/S ORIOLE EXPORTS PRIVATE LTD [LAWS(DLH)-2016-7-95] [REFERRED TO]
VIJAY LAXMIPATI DASARI VS. SMT.LAXMIBAI RAMAYYA BOLABATTIN [LAWS(BOM)-2016-9-29] [REFERRED TO]
GIAN CHAND AND ANOTHER VS. CHARANJIT SINGH [LAWS(HPH)-2011-7-266] [REFERRED TO]
MONEYLINE CREDIT LTD VS. SANJEEV KUMAR AND ORS [LAWS(DLH)-2014-9-671] [REFERRED]
SHER SINGH, SON OF NAWAB SINGH BY CASTE BANJARA, RESIDENT OF VILLAGE KHERIA LODHA, POLICE STATION ROOPWAS, DISTRICT VS. STATE [LAWS(RAJ)-2016-9-27] [REFERRED TO]
CAPT (RETD ) O P SHARMA & ANR VS. KAMLA SHARMA & ORS [LAWS(DLH)-2008-3-387] [REFERRED]
DAULATRAM VYAS VS. VALLABHA VYAS [LAWS(APH)-2018-1-60] [REFERRED TO]
CROSSCRAFT PRIVATE LTD VS. AUTHORIZED OFFICER, MADGAUM URBAN CO-OP BANK LTD [LAWS(BOM)-2019-2-167] [REFERRED TO]
RAJDEEP NATH VS. STATE OF ASSAM [LAWS(GAU)-2020-5-34] [REFERRED TO]
MANJULA KUMAR VS. JANATHA SEVA CO-OPERATIVE BANK LTD. [LAWS(KAR)-2020-3-132] [REFERRED TO]
DEENADAYALAN VS. N. SATHISH KUMAR [LAWS(MAD)-2021-3-471] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

RAVEENDRAN, J - (1.)THIS appeal is preferred against the judgment dated 21-01-2000 passed by the High Court of Madras dismissing Criminal Appeal No. 127 of 1993 filed by the Appellant thereby confirming the judgment dated 25-01-1993 passed by the Special Judge, Madurai in Calendar Case No. 2 of 1987, convicting and sentencing him under section 5(l)(e) read with section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 (for short 'the Act').
(2.)THE case of prosecution, in brief, was as follows :-
(1) THE appellant joined the Southern Railway on 5/7/1958. He was promoted as a Permanent Way Inspector and later as Assistant Engineer on 28/5/1981. THE appellant's family consisted of himself, his wife and two children. He had six brothers and three sisters and had no ancestral properties.

(2) On information received that the appellant was corrupt and had amassed assets disproportionate to his income, R.C. No. 33 of 1986 was registered on 28/5/ 1986 by the Superintendent, Central Bureau of Investigation, Madras. Chelladurai, Inspector CBI [PW-23] took up the case for investigation and obtained a warrant for inspection of the appellant's house No. 16, North Colony, Railway Quarters, Dindigul, from the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chennai. On 29/5/1986, PW-23 along with his party and two independent witnesses went to the house of the accused. Appellant was not present but his son was present. THE search was commenced at 8 a.m. THE appellant came around 11.30 a.m. and his wife came around 2.45 p.m. THEre were three steel almirahs kept in the house of the appellant and on opening them with the keys provided by the appellant, a sum of Rs. 2,94,615.00 in cash was found in ten different containers (biscuit tins, briefcases, etc.,) which was seized. Certain documents were also seized.

(3) As per the charge-sheet dated 18-5-1987, the check-period was 1-5-1976 to 29-5-1986 and the value of the assets held by the appellant at the beginning of the check-period (1-5-1976) was Rs. 13,449/17; and the value of the total assets of the appellant at the end of the check-period (as on 29-5-1986) was Rs. 6,69,852.00 as under:-
JUDGEMENT_754_AIR(SCW)_2006Html1.htm THE total income earned by the appellant during the check-period was Rs. 2,81,497.93 (salary, interest on FDs, interest on bank balances, house-rent, house rent advance and housing loan) and the total expenditure incurred for the family during that period was Rs. 88,645.92. Thus, the maximum likely savings during that period was Rs. 1,92,852.01. Thus, the value of total assets as on 29-5-1986 could not have exceeded Rs. 192,852.01 (savings) plus Rs. 13,449.17 (assets at the beginning of the check-period) in all Rs. 2,06,301.18. By deducting the said amount of Rs. 2,06,301.18 from Rs. 6,69,852.00, the value of the assets acquired by the appellant beyond his known sources of income was found to be Rs. 4,63,551.60. Thus the charge was that the appellant was in possession of assets of the value of Rs. 4,63,551/60 in excess of his known sources of income which he could satisfactorily account and thereby he committed an offence under section 5(l)(e) of the Act punishable under section 5(2).
The explanation offered by the appellant (as gathered from the statement under Section 313, Cr.P.C., exhibited documents and written arguments) was as follows :- JUDGEMENT_754_AIR(SCW)_2006Html2.htm The appellant submitted that the extent of assets beyond the known sources of income was not, therefore, Rs. 4,63,551/40 as charged, but only Rs. 26,561.00. The appellant contended that a margin of 10% is permitted and as the unexplained assets were only to an extent of Rs. 26,561.00 which was less than even 10% of the total income, the courts below committed an error in holding that the assets possessed by the accused were disproportionate to his known sources of income, so as to justify the raising of presumption under Section 5(3).

The Special Court after considering the evidence came to the conclusion that even if all other explanations and contentions of the appellant were accepted, assets to an extent of Rs. 3,05,985.39 remained unaccounted and unexplained. It accepted the claim of the accused that the total of assets as on 29-5-1986 was Rs. 6,41,112.78. It also accepted his claim that the value of assets as on 1 -5-1976 was not Rs. 13,449.17 but Rs. 63,198.61 (in calculations, wrongly taken as Rs;73,759/31 by the Special Court). It also accepted certain other income which had not been taken into account by PW-23, namely, Travelling Allowance (Rs. 25,922.60), bonus (Rs. 8,000.00), interest on FDs (Rs. 91,666.25 as against Rs. 57,583.91 considered by PW-23). It further accepted the claim of the accused that the value of the Salem House was only Rs. 80,000.00 (as against Rs. 1,13,042.79 assessed by PW-23). It, however, rejected the explanation relating to loans of Rs. 2,50,000.00 allegedly taken from PWs- 11 and 15 and the borrowings aggregating to Rs. 40,000.00 from relatives. It held that the prosecution had proved that the appellant possessed assets in excess of all known sources of income to an extent of Rs. 3,05,985.39 and by raising the presumption that such assets were procured by illegal means by misusing his official powers and influence, found him guilty and convicted him under section 5(l)(e) read with section 5(2) of the Act. The appellant was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for one year and pay a fine of Rs.1,000.00 and, in default, to undergo rigorous imprisonment for four months. The cash recovered (Rs. 2,94,615.00) was ordered to be confiscated.

(3.)FEELING aggrieved, the appellant filed an appeal before the High Court [Crl. Appeal No. 127 of 1993]. By judgment dated 21-01-2000, the High Court confirmed the conviction and sentence and dismissed the appeal. In fact, the High Court came to the conclusion that the value of unaccounted assets was Rs. 4,13,802.16 and not Rs. 3,05,985.39 as determined by the Special Court. It accepted the contention of the appellant that the value of assets as on 1-5-1976 (beginning of checkperiod) was Rs. 63,198.61 and not Rs. 13,449.17. It, however, rejected the appellant's claim for certain additions to the income (which had been accepted by the trial court), namely, Rs. 25,922.60 (travelling allowance), Rs. 8,000.00 (bonus), Rs. 34,083.00 (being part interest on fixed deposits, that is by taking the interest earned as only Rs. 57,583.91 instead of Rs. 91,666.25 claimed by the appellant) and Rs. 511.00 (S.B. Account interest). It did not accept his contention that the value of the Salem House was only Rs. 80,000.00 and took it as Rs. 1,13,042.00, thereby increasing the assets by an extent of Rs. 28,740.00. Consequently, out of Rs. 6,69,852.78 (value of assets as on 29-5-1986), the High Court deducted Rs. 63,198.61 (being the value of assets at the beginning of check-period as claimed by the appellant) and Rs. 1,92,852.01 (surplus of income over expenditure during the check-period as determined by it) and concluded that assets of the value of Rs. 413,802.16 remained unexplained.
The said decision is challenged in this appeal by special leave. The learned counsel for the appellant contended that the High Court committed a serious error in over-estimating the cost of the Salem House and by refusing to take note of the following five items of income during the check-period :- JUDGEMENT_754_AIR(SCW)_2006Html3.htm The appellant contended that if these amounts had been taken into account by the High Court, it would have found that the unexplained assets or income over expenditure was only Rs. 29,561.00, well within the 10% margin recognized and permitted by this Court. (Reference may be made to Krishnanand Agnihotri v. State of MP, AIR 1977 SC 796, wherein this Court held where the value of unexplained portion is less than 10% of the total income, it would not be proper to hold that the assets found in the possession of the accused were disproportionate to his known sources of income, so as to justify the raising of the presumption under Section 5(3) of the Act). The learned counsel for the appellant further submitted that the findings in favour of the accused cannot be altered in appeal by the accused against conviction. He pointed out that the trial court had accepted his claim for additions to income of Rs. 22,922.60 (TA), Rs. 8,000.00 (Bonus) and Rs. 34,578.37 (interest on deposits) and also reduction in the total value of assets by Rs. 28,740.00 (in all aggregating to Rs. 94,240/97) and these could not have been reversed by the High Court in an appeal by the accused.

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