HC upholds conviction in corruption case after 19 years


Jammu, Apr 22: Justice Sanjay Dhar of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court one of oldest conviction appeal and upheld the conviction of Mohd Sadiq who was working as a salesman with Cooperative Society, Darhal.
As per the prosecution case, an enquiry was ordered by Deputy Commissioner Rajouri (PW-3) into the allegations made by the appellant/accused, who was working as a salesman with Cooper-ative Society, Darhal. The appellant/accused had alleged that he had paid an amount of Rs. 93070/- vide two receipts one for Rs. 53070/- and other for Rs. 38000/- to the Supervisor of the Society namely Sh. Mohd. Yaqeen (PW-6). Upon enquiry made by Assistant Commissioner, Develo-pment Rajouri, Sh. Iqbal Sadiq (PW-2), it was found that the two receipts had been tampered with and the appellant/accused had retained sale proceeds in respect of fertilizer and other consumer items while working as salesman. The enquiry officer further attributed negligence to PW Mohd. Yaqeen, the Supervisor and concluded that he had failed to exercise supervision and control over the working of appellant/ accused and it was recommended that misappropriated amount be recovered from the appellant/accused and PW Mohd. Yaqeen in equal proportions.
The aforesaid enquiry report was forwarded by Deputy Commi-ssioner, Rajouri to Superintendent of Police, Vigilance for appropriate action and on the basis of this report, FIR No. 15 of 1982 for offences under Sections 409, 467, 468 and 120-B RPC and 5(2) J&K Prevention of Corruption Act came to be registered with the then Vigilance Organization Jammu and the investigation of the case was set into motion.
Trial Court on 05.09.2005 convicted the accused of offence under Section 409 RPC and Section 5(2) of the J&K Prevention of Corruption Act and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for one year in both the offences. In addition thereto, the appellant has also been sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 1.00 lac for conviction under Section 5(2) of the J&K Prevention of Corruption Act.
Against this order present appeal was filed.
Justice Sanjay Dhar after hearing both the sides observed that it is manifestly clear that the prosecution is not obliged to prove the precise mode of conversion or misappropriation by the accused of the property entrusted to him. Once it has been established that the appellant/ accused had been entrusted with the stocks of the Society and the appellant is unable to render the account, an inference of misappropriation with dishonest intent has to follow.
In the instant case, the appellant, while making his statement under Section 342 Cr.P.C, did not plead any defence nor did he state anything as regards the manner in which he has discharged his duty as a trustee of the stocks received by him. In fact, the appellant has, neither during cross examination of the witnesses nor in his statement under Section 342 Cr.P.C. taken the defence that he had paid the amount of sale proceeds as reflected in the two receipts executed by PW Mohd. Yaqeen. He has not even disputed the assertion of PW Mohd. Yaqeen that these receipts were only for Rs. 5307/-and Rs. 3800/- and not for Rs. 53070/- & Rs. 38000/- either during cross examination of the said witness or in his statement under Section 342 Cr.P.C. In the face of this situation, the only inference that can be drawn is that the appellant/accused has misappropriated the stocks entrusted to him to the tune of Rs. 1,59, 652.23/-.
Court further observed that the Special Judge, has, while passing the impugned judgment, meticulously analysed the evidence on record and has drawn correct conclusions which are backed by legally sound reasons. There is, thus, no ground to interfere in the impugned judgment passed by the Special Judge. The appeals lack merit and as such, the same are dismissed. The appellant/accused is directed to surrender before the Special Judge Anti Corruption Jammu within a period of one month from today. His bail/surety bonds shall stand cancelled. In case, the appellant fails to surrender before the learned Special Judge within the aforesaid period, the necessary steps in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure shall be taken by the Special Judge for apprehending the appellant/accused, whereafter, he shall be sent to Jail for serving the remaining portion of the Sentence. JNF

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