(Prayer: Criminal Original Petition filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to call for the records in C.C.No.14 of 2010 on the file of the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Puducherry and quash the same as against the petitioner/7th accused.)
1. These petitions have been filed by one R.Samikannu to call for the records in C.C.Nos.14 of 2010, 81 of 2013, 79 of 2013, 18 of 2010, 16 of 2010, 15 of 2010, 67 of 2013, 68 of 2013, 147 of 2009, 83 of 2013, 84 of 2013, 7 of 2009 and 13 of 2010 on the file of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Puducherry and quash the same as against the petitioner/7th accused.
2. Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and the learned Additional Public Prosecutor appearing for the respondent.
3. On the complaint lodged by one Soundirarajan, the respondent police registered a case and took up investigation. It was alleged by Soundirarajan that the officials of the Regional Transport Office, in collusion with some brokers, have fabricated R.C.books for spurious vehicles in Puducherry. During the course of investigation, it came to light that R.C. books of 27 vehicles have been fabricated, but only 13 Final Reports have been filed by the police, and in all the cases, Samikannu has been arrayed as A7, challenging which he is before this Court.
4. Heard Mr.V.Krishnamoorthy, learned counsel for the petitioner and Mr.M.R.Thangavel, learned Additional Public Prosecutor appearing for the respondent.
5. At the outset, Mr.V.Krishnamoorthy submitted that even before the FIR was registered, Samikannu has noted this fraud and has made a Note on 07.03.2006, which reads as follows:
"2. From the above two particulars available, it is noted that contrary between the registration certificate of PY-01-T-2045 submitted by Tasneem and Form-24 available with this office. It is seen from the Form-24 which containing Sl.No. from PY-01-T-2001 to PY-01-T-2100, in which all the form have been signed by thiru Datchinamoorthy, M.V.I. except Sl.No.PY-01-T-2045. It is also found the signature of Registering Authority in that particular Form-24 of PY-01-T-2045 is seems to be Thiru Reymond Fernandez, M.V.I."
Thus, he is a whistle blower, but, unfortunately, instead of registering a case on his Office Note, the police had registered a case on the complaint of Soundirarajan and after investigation, have implicated Samikannu as accused.
6. For better appreciation of the case, it may be relevant to extract verbatim, the allegations in one of the charge sheets which has been stereotyped in the other charge sheets, except change in vehicle number:
"Between 05.12.2005 and 07.09.2006 at No.77, 4th Cross, Rainbow Nagar, Puducherry and at the Regional Transport Office, Puducherry, lies within the jurisdiction of CID PS, Puducherry the accused No.A1-Shajith @ Ansari Babu @ Trichy Babu @ Chotta Babu S/o Hanifa, Car thief brought the stolen vehicle Maruthi Zen/M-Gold colour bearing genuine Regn.No.MH-03-G-3415 owned by one Praveen Gherailal Jain (42), No.1/2 Lakshmi Estate, Tagore Nagar, Station Road, Vikhroli Road (East), Mumbai, involved in theft case in Cr.No.206/03 u/s 379 IPC of Vikhroli PS, Mumbai and handed over it to the accused No.A-2 K.P.Ramanchandiran Nair (51) S/o P.Padmanaban Nair of Kerala and sold it to the accused A3-J.Samidurai (50) S/o Janakiraman, an arrack vendor used the same for the purpose of transportation of illicit arrack and there after along with the accused A4-Sakthivel (30) S/o Chandirasekar, who is a RTO broker in profession, had generated fake RC Book (Form 23 and 24) in respect of the said stolen vehicle, giving fake Regn.No.PY-01-T-2045 with the help of the accused No.A5-Kathiresan @ Kathir (27), Lower Division Clerk of RTO Office, by committing forgery signature of the Raymond Fernandez, Motor Vehicle Inspector of RTO office in Form 23 an with the assistance of the accused No.A6 -Shanmugam, Lower Division Clerk, R-1 Section of RTO Office, the accused No.A7-Samikannu, Upper Division Clerk, R-2 Section of RTO Office, the accused No.8-Datchinamoorthy, Motor Vehicle Inspector, R-I Section of RTO Office, the accused No.A9-Arumugam, Motor Vehicle Inspector, R-II Section of RTO office have deliberately signed in the fake RC and the accused No.A10-Rajasegar, Binder at R-I section of RTO office had inserted fake loose leaf B-Forms, the Form-24 by removing the original B-Forms pertaining to this specific number. The accused No.A11-Janarthanan @ Udhayan (22) s/o Siva Sankaran, (office boy of A1 accused) infurtherance of common intention had attempted to insure the said fake RC vehicle at United India Insurance Ltd., Neyveli Branch and the same was denied. Then the accused No.4 Sakthivel s/o Chandrisekar sold the same to the innocent purchaser namely Angayarkannai (36) w/o Soundirajan, No.77, 4th Cross, Rainbow Nagar, Puducherry for wrongful gain and cheated her by using the said fake RC book through the accused No.A-12, Satheeshkumar S/o Kuppusamy and thereby all the accused infurtherance of their common intention, appears to be committed the offences of cheating punishable Section 420 IPC, the offence of forgery for the purpose of cheating punishable under Section 468 IPC, the offence of using the forgery document as genuine one punishable under Section 471 IPC, the offence of assisting in concealment of stolen property punishable under Section 414 IPC and the accused persons namely A5-Kathiresan @ Kathir (27), LDC, A6 - Shanmugam, LDC, A7 - Samikannu UDC, A8 - Datchinamoorthy, MVI, A9 - Arumugam, MVI, IA10 - Rajasegar, Binder are working in the Regional Transport department, Govt. of Puducherry omitted to give information about the offences (illegal manipulation and alteration of RC Book and 'B' Registration Form at RTO Office) to their superior officers which is punishable under Section 202 IPC r/w 34 IPC."
7. The modus operandi adopted by the accused is as follows:
When the owner of a vehicle registered in Puducherry seeks transfer from Puducherry Union Territory to any other State, he will make an application to the R.T.O. for effecting transfer. The officials in the R.T.O. will process the application and on the orders of the competent authority, the registration in the Register of the R.T.O. will be rounded off and transfer certificate will be issued to the owner, with which the owner can re-register the vehicle in the transferee State. This means that the said vehicle will no more permanently ply in Puducherry. Thereafter, for stolen vehicles, a fake registration number has to be given. In this case, the R.T.O. officials, in connivance with brokers and others, have given registration numbers of transferred vehicles to 27 stolen vehicles. This is the sum and substance of the prosecution case.
8. In this grandeur scheme, the allegations against Samikannu, as stated in the 161 Cr.P.C. statement of Mr.S.Khannaji, Transport Commissioner-cum-Additional Secretary to Govt. (Transport), Transport Department, Puducherry, is as follows:
"The fabrication of records in the NOC files in respect of 15 vehicles have been tampered during the period of 22.06.2005 to 15.07.2006. Similarly, the fabricated RC were prepared in the Regn No. total 8 files for 27 cases during the period from 20.12.2005 to 22.05.2006. The ministerial staff who was on duty during the above said period is Thiru S.Samikannu, UDC, R-II Section (from 11.11.2005 to 17.07.2006). Further, affixing of hologram is introduced since 22.12.2001. The hologram is kept in the custody of the Store Keeper along with the other stationery items under lock and key."
9. Apart from this general statement, one Chidambaram, in his 161 Cr.P.C. statement to the police, has stated as follows:
"Service ( Tamil )
10. One Arumugam, who was working as a Data Processing Assistant in the R.T.O. Office from 07.05.2003 to 14.09.2003, has stated as follows:
( Tamil )
From a reading of the above, it is obvious that Samikannu was aware of the password of the computer, without which this fabrication would not have been possible.
11. Learned counsel for the petitioner placed reliance on the judgment of the Supreme Court in Ramesh Rajagopal v. Devi Polymers Private Limited [(2016) 6 SCC 310]. On a reading of the said ruling, it is seen that the complainant therein had filed a private complaint in respect of a purely business transaction and therefore, the Supreme Court interfered and quashed the prosecution, whereas, in this case, the charges against the accused are for offences u/s 420, 468, 471, 414, 202 IPC r/w 34 IPC. In the teeth of the overwhelming materials as against this petitioner, these are not fit cases to quash the prosecution against him.
Accordingly, these petitions are dismissed. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petitions are closed.