Lastly, the learned Counsel for the revisionist contended that the revisionist was a class IV employee and the money would not have been entrusted to the revisionist. It was further pointed out that the special instructions have been given by the District Co-operative Bank, Uttarkashi that the money of the bank shall not be sent through the class IV employees. The learned A.G.A. refuted the contention and contended that even if there are administrative instructions in this regard, but if any contamination is made by the employees, they may be liable for the negligence. The revisionist cannot be acquitted on this score alone.Print Page
Uttaranchal High Court
Umed Chand Ramola vs State Of Uttaranchal on 25 July, 2005
Equivalent citations: 2006 CriLJ 951
Bench: J Rawat
1. This a criminal revision against the judgment and order dated 28-9-1984 passed by Shri V.N. Mehrotra, the then Sessions Judge, Uttarkashi in criminal Appeal No. 9/1983 dismissing the appeal of the appellant/revisionist and confirming the judgment and order dated 23-3-1986 passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Uttarkashi, whereby the Chief Judicial Magistrate convicted the revisionist and sentenced him to undergo R.I. for a period of five years under Section 408, I.P.C. and to pay a fine Rs. 10,000/-. In default of payment of fine, the appellant would further undergo R.I. for a period of eighteen months.
2. The prosecution case in a nutshell is that the revisionist-Umed Chand Ramola was employed as peon-cum-Chawkidar at Purola Branch of the District Co-operative Bank, Uttarkashi. The Branch Manager of the Bank used to send the money to its head office at Uttarkashi and also to other regional offices of the Bank in the district. On 7-4-1981 an amount of Rs. 1,50,000/- was withdrawn by the Branch Manager of Purola from the State Bank of India, Purola in order to send the same to the head office at Uttarkashi. Shri Dinesh Chand Kapoor, Manager and Sri Yogendra Ghildiyal, Cashier entrusted the said amount to the revisionist-Umed Chand Ramola at about 7 a.m. on 8-4-1981 and a receipt (Ex.Ka.5) to this effect was obtained from the revisionist. The revisionist was to proceed from Purola by bus and to deposit the amount at Uttarkashi on the same day. But, the revisionist did not deposit the amount at Uttarkashi and misappropriated the same. On 15-4-1981 Kulanand Pandey, Secretary, District Co-operative Bank, Uttarkashi was informed by the Manager of Chinyalisaur branch of the bank that the accused had deposited nearly Rs. 1,60,000/- in a bank of Chham. Kulanand Pandey became suspicious and reached Chham at about 8.30 p.m. Then, he came to know that the accused had deposited the amount at Union Bank of India, Chham. The Manager of the Bank informed that the accused had deposited Rs. 1,45,000/- in the bank and that he had obtained two bank drafts for Rs. 25.000/-each in his name and had also withdrawn an amount of Rs. 10.000/- in cash. Kulanand Pandey, Secretary came back to Uttarkashi and requested the District Magistrate, Uttarkashi for sending necessary instructions to the Lucknow bank for non-payment of the amount of drafts. On 16-4-1981 the Secretary reached Purola, where Dinesh Chand Kapoor, Manager told him that an amount of Rs. 1,50,000/- were entrusted to the accused on 8-4-1981 for being deposited at Uttarkashi. The details of the denominations of currency notes were also given. Kulanand Pandey, Secretary, then lodged FIR (Ex.Ka.4) at police outpost Purola on the same day. The investigation of this case was entrusted to Bharat Singh Yadav, who obtained the opinion of Government Handwriting Expert with regard to the signatures of the accused on Ex.Ka.5. The investigation was taken up as usual which culminated into the submission of the charge-sheet (Ex.Ka.38).
3. Charge was framed against the revisionist-Umed Chand Ramola. The revisionist denied the charges and claimed the trial.
4. The prosecution in support of its case examined nine witnesses. The accused-revisionist also examined seven witnesses in defence.
5. In the statement recorded under Section 313, Cr.P.C. the revisionist denied the prosecution case and stated that he has been falsely implicated in this case.
6. The learned trial Court after appraisal of the evidence on record found the revisionist guilty under Section 408, I.P.C. and convicted and sentenced the revisionist as mentioned above.
7. I have heard the learned Counsel for the parties and perused the evidence on record.
8. It is not disputed that the revisionist was employed as Peon-cum-Chawkidar at Purola Branch of the District Co-operative Bank, Uttarkashi. The prosecution examined three personnel of the Bank i.e. Dinesh Chand Kapoor (PW-3), who was the Branch Manager of the District Co-operative Bank, Purola, Yogendra Datt Ghildiyal, Cashier (PW-5) and Janaki Prasad Ghildiyal, Guard. These three prosecution witnesses fully supported the prosecution case that the entrustment of the amount of Rs. 1,50,000/- was made to the accused-revisionist. A receipt (Ex.Ka.5) to this effect was also obtained from the accused, which corrborates the factum of entrustment of money to the accused. It was further established by the evidence of the prosecution that the money was withdrawn from the State Bank of India, Purola on 7-4-1981 and it was kept in the safe of the Bank on that day. On 8-4-1981 the amount was handed over to the accused so that he could proceed for Uttarkashi by bus to deposit the said amount. But, the revisionist did not deposit the amount at Uttarkashi and misappropriated the same. The defence could not point out any such discrepancies, which can be held that the learned trial Court has erred in convicting the revisionist. Perusal of the record reveals that the defence could not elicit anything during the cross-examination. As such, the evidence of prosecution is credible and cogent. Apart (from) this, this fact is further stand corroborated by the entrustment receipt Ex.Ka.5, which is in the handwriting of the revisionist according to the Government Handwriting Expert.
9. The revisionist denied the signature over the receipt Ex.Ka.5. Both the Courts below have given a concurrent finding that the said receipt was signed by the revisionist. As such, the said finding cannot be disturbed in the revision.
10. The learned Counsel for the revisionist pointed out that the receipt Ex.Ka.5 does not contain the signature of the revisionist. Perusal of the record reveals that both the parties have adduced the evidence of Handwriting Expert. The prosecution adduced the evidence of Rajendra Singh Yadav (PW-8) Government Handwriting Expert, who proved his reports Exs.Ka.36 and Ka. 37 by which it has been held that the said document bears the signature of the accused. The revisionist also adduced the evidence of Sri Salekh Chand Verma (DW-1), a private Handwriting Expert, who has given a report in favour of the revisionist. After analyzing both the documents the trial Court came to the conclusion that the evidence of Government Handwriting Expert is reliable and cogent. It is a well settled position of law that the Court is the expert of experts. Both the courts below have relied upon the evidence of PW-8. The evidence of expert is not a substantive evidence, but it is only a corroborative piece of evidence. The prosecution witnesses i.e. employees of the bank proved that the signature was made by the accused on the receipt in their presence. As such, the substantive evidence, which has been proved by the ocular testimony, is credible and cogent. Therefore, I do not find any force in the contention of the learned Counsel for the revisionist.
11. The learned Counsel for the revisionist further pointed out that the said receipt was not immediately taken into possssion by the I.O. when the FIR was lodged. Perusal of the record reveals that the said receipt Ex.Ka.5 was taken into possession on 20-5-1981. The I.O. has stated that he had seen the receipt on 16-5-1981, but he had not taken the same as the Branch Manager has assured that the accused may himself confess his guilt. Merely taking the receipt after a lapse of few days does not affect the prosecution case.
12. It is also not disputed that the revisionist did not deposit the amount, which was entrusted to him, in the bank at Uttarkashi. It has been further proved by the prosecution evidence that a sum of Rs. 1,45,000/- was deposited in the Union Bank of India, Chham on 9-4-1981 and Rs. 2200/-at State Bank of India Barhamkhal on 11-4-1981. The defence has taken a plea before the trial Court that the revisionist had taken the money on loan and had also sold his ornaments to raise the amount and he had deposited the same in the Bank as he wanted to purchase a truck. The revisionist also adduced the evidence of Jaybir Chand Ramola DW-2, Meharban Singh DW-3, Balam Singh DW-4, Rukam Singh DW-5, Rukam Singh s/o Tilak Singh DW-6 and Chandan Singh DW-7. Jaybir Chand Ramola DW-2 and Meharban Singh DW-3 have stated that they had loaned Rs. 15,000/-each to revisionist without obtaining any document from the revisionist. Balam Singh DW-4 had loaned Rs. 20,000/- to the revisionist. Jaybir Chand Ramola DW-2 had loaned the amount to the revisionist one year back. Jaybir Chand Ramola DW-2, Meharban Singh DW-3 and Balam Singh DW-4 are the relatives of the revisionist. Chandan Singh DW-7 had loaned Rs. 20,000/- on 18-3-1981 and he has asserted that a promissory note to this effect was executed, but the same has not been filed before Court below. Rukam Singh DW-5 has also asserted that he had purchased ornaments worth Rs. 11,480/- from the revisionist on 17-3-1981. Rukam Singh s/o frilok Singh has asserted that one Surendra Singh had purchased ornaments worth Rs. 13,400/- on 17-3-1981 and he had signed the receipt Ex.Ka.3 as a witness. Hukam Singh DW-6 is the resident of village Mathali while Rukam Singh is the resident of village Kyari. The money loaned by the defence witnesses had no account in the bank. Apart (from) this, the money was entrusted on 7-4-1981 and he put Rs. 35.000/- in fixed deposit in his name and Rs. 25,000/- in fixed deposit in the name of his daughter for long term on 13-4-1981. He also deposited Rs. 2200/- in the name of his wife on 11-4-1981 and also took out Rs. 10,000/- in cash from Union Bank of India. If the revisionist had to purchase the truck, why he made such transactions after depositing the money in F.D. This action of the revisionist cannot be compatible with the submission of the revisionist with regard to the purchase of truck. As such, the defence theory is not cogent and credible.
13. Lastly, the learned Counsel for the revisionist contended that the revisionist was a class IV employee and the money would not have been entrusted to the revisionist. It was further pointed out that the special instructions have been given by the District Co-operative Bank, Uttarkashi that the money of the bank shall not be sent through the class IV employees. The learned A.G.A. refuted the contention and contended that even if there are administrative instructions in this regard, but if any contamination is made by the employees, they may be liable for the negligence. The revisionist cannot be acquitted on this score alone.
14. In view of the foregoing discussions, I am of the view that the prosecution has established the guilt beyond any reasonable doubt against the revisionist. I find that the learned trial Court has rightly convicted and sentenced the revisionist and there is no infirmity in the judgment passed by the trial Court. Hence, no interference is required in the findings given by the trial Court. The revision is dismissed and the conviction and sentence awarded by the trial Court against the, revisionist are confirmed.
15. Let the lower Court record be sent back to the Court concerned for compliance. Compliance report be submitted within two months.