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The State of Karnataka Vs. K.S. Ramdas and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1976CriLJ228
AppellantThe State of Karnataka
RespondentK.S. Ramdas and ors.
Excerpt:
- limitation act, 1963.[c.a. no. 36/1963]. articles 120 &121: [d.v. shylendra kumar, j] application for bringing the lrs. of the deceased respondent in an appeal - application filed beyond the period of 90 days -whether application for condition of delay is necessary? held, in terms of article 120 of the schedule to the limitation act, 1963, the application for bringing the lrs of the deceased respondent in an appeal has to be filed within 90 days from the date of death of the respondent and if such an application is not filed within that time, the appeal as against the deceased respondent abates and in terms of article 121 of schedule to the limitation act, 1963, an application for setting aside the abatement so caused, has to be made within a further 60 days there from. on facts held,.....m.s. nesargi, j.1. in all eighteen persons were charge-sheeted, in regard to the offence pertaining to counterfeiting of currency notes of rs. 2/- denomination, in c. c. no. 6 of 1968 in the court of the munsiff-magistrate, kadur. four persons namely sundaram chettiar, velu, govindaswamy and babu, who were arraigned as a-15, a-16, a-17 and a-18 in the chargesheet were shown to be absconding. shivananda or shivanna who was arrayed as a-3 in the charge-sheet died while he was apprehended. as a-16 to a-18 were absconding, the case against them was split up and the case against the 13 remaining accused was taken up. they were committed to the court of session in chickmagalur. the case was registered as s. c. no. 5 of 1970. the learned sessions judge, acquitted the said accused of all the.....
Judgment:

M.S. Nesargi, J.

1. In all eighteen persons were charge-sheeted, in regard to the offence pertaining to counterfeiting of currency notes of Rs. 2/- denomination, in C. C. No. 6 of 1968 in the Court of the Munsiff-Magistrate, Kadur. Four persons namely Sundaram Chettiar, Velu, Govindaswamy and Babu, who were arraigned as A-15, A-16, A-17 and A-18 in the chargesheet were shown to be absconding. Shivananda or Shivanna who was arrayed as A-3 in the charge-sheet died while he was apprehended. As A-16 to A-18 were absconding, the case against them was split up and the case against the 13 remaining accused was taken up. They were committed to the Court of Session in Chickmagalur. The case was registered as S. C. No. 5 of 1970. The learned Sessions Judge, acquitted the said accused of all the charges. A-7 before the learned Sessions Judge was H. C. Virappa. He was acquitted as the Special Public Prosecutor, who prosecuted the case there, fairly made a statement that there was no case against him.

2. In this appeal, the State has challenged the judgment of acquittal of the remaining 12 accused who were arraigned as A-l to A-6 and A-8 to A-12.

3. For easy understanding of the development of the events leading to this case, we refer to the respondents before us by their respective accused numbers and to Sundaram Chettiar as A-15.

4. By 18-7-1968, P.W. 1 A. R. Basappa purchased a land from P.W. 2 Thimmabovi. The sale deed was to be registered on 18-7-1968. P.W. 5 Venkatara-maiah, shanbhog and scribe wrote the sale deed Ex. P-l. P.W. 1 was to pay Rs. 35/-to P.W. 5 as his remuneration. P.W. 1 paid four currency notes of Rs. 10/- denomination to P.W. 5. P.W. 5 was to return Rs. 5/- to P.W. 1 after taking his remuneration of Rs. 35/-. P.Ws. 5 and 1 went to the bus stand at Kadur. P.W. 5 went to the box shop of A-10 Makbul Ahmed to secure change for a currency note of Rs. 10/-denomination. P.W. 5 handed a Rs. 10/- denomination currency note to A-10 and asked for change. A-10 gave one currency notes of Rs. 5/- denomination and three currency notes of Re. 1/- denomination and one currency note of Rs. 2/- denomination to P.W. 5. P.W. 5 gave the currency note of Rs. 5/- denomination to P.W. 1 and P.W. 1 went away. P.W. 5 wanted to purchase two quires of paper and hence went to the shop of P.W. 4 Ranganatha Setty where P.W. 3 K. T. Srinivasa Murthy, the brother of P.W. 4 was also present. In fact both of them own that stationery shop. P.W. 5 purchased two quires of white-paper and tendered the currency note of Rs. 2/- denomination which he had received from A-10. P.W. 4 felt that it was not a genuine note and he examined it and believed that it was a counterfeit note. He told P.W. 5 accordingly and asked P.W. 5 to lodge a complaint to the police. P.Ws. 3 and 5 went to the police station at Kadur where P.W. 74 M. C. Narayanappa was the Sub-Inspector of Police. P.W. 5 handed over the currency note of Rs. 2/- denomination which is marked as M. O. 1 in this case and gave informationtion as per Ex. P-2. P.W. 74 registered a case. P.W. 5, P. W 74 and two panchas P.W. 6 Gopal Krishna and P.W. 15 P. Krishnaswamy who were secured by P.W. 74 went to the shop of A-10. P.W. 74 arrested A-10 and interrogated him. A-10 gave information as per Ex. P-406 narrating that he had 13 notes of Rs. 2/- denomination in his pocket. He produced those 13 notes which are marked as M. Os. 3 to 15, which P.W. 74 sealed and seized under the panchanama Ex. P-4. A-10 then led the party to his house and produced a shaving box in which a currency note of Rs. 2/- denomination was found. It is marked as M. O. 17. It was sealed and seized under the panchanama Ex. P-5. He then led the party to the house of A-9 Visweswaraiah who was working as Shroff in the local Taluk treasury. A-9 was lying on his bed at that time. P.W. 74 arrested him and interrogated him. He gave information as per Ex. P-407 and produced a greenish blue bag from under the pillow. From that bag he produced 20 bundles of Rs. 2/- denomination currency notes. Each bundle was supposed to contain 100 notes. But the actual counting of the notes showed only 1888 notes. They were sealed and seized under the panchanama Ex. P-6. The bundles are marked as M. Os. 19 to 38. Ex. P-7 the tassel patti narrating the different numbers of the notes was also recorded at that time. Thereafter A-9 Visweswaraiah led the party to the tea shop of A-11 R. K. Mohammed. He was arrested and interrogated by P.W. 74. He produced four notes of Rs. 2/- denomination from under the radio and they were sealed and seized under the panchanama Ex. P-9. Those notes are M. Os. 42 to 45.

5. On 19-7-1968 A-9 took P.W. 74, P.W. 6 B. V. Gopalakrishna and another person who is not examined in this case and who was acting as panch to the residence of A-3 Subramanya. A-3 is the only printer in Jayapura. This party found A-4 puttanaika lying on a bed in a room in the house of A-3. A-3 on interrogation produced 23 bundles namely M. Os. 47 to 69 of Rs. 2/-denomination. They were sealed and seized under the panchanama Ex, P-11 . Ex. P-12 is the Tapsil patti detailing the numbers of the notes, recorded at the time of seizure. A-4 produced from below the bed on which ho was sleeping one bundle of Rs. 2/- denodenomination currency notes (M. O. 70). It was sealed and seized under the panchanama Ex. P-13. Then the party proceeded to the printing press of A-3 and searched the premises. Nothing incriminating was found. Thereafter, A-3 led this party to the house of A-5 Satyanarayana Setty. Nothing incriminating was found. Then A-3 took the party to the residence of A-8 Smt. Kamalamma in Vandagadde village situated about 4 to 6 miles from Jayapura. A-6 Chinnegowda was present in the house, P.W. 74 arrested A-6 and interrogated him. A-6 gave informations as per Exhibits P-409 and P-410. He told that the articles were in the upstairs of that house. At his instance, M. Os. 72 to 112 which are currency notes, out of which M. Os. 110-111 and 112 were under preparation and other articles were sealed and seized from the upstairs of the house of A-8 under the panchanama Ex. P-18. Thereafter A-6 led them to the land of A-8 where the party saw the printing press M, O. 115 in the portion where the land had caved in. It was sealed and seized under the panchanama Ex. P-20. M. Os. 116 to 118 which are the different parts of the press were also seized. The party came back to Kadur.

6. On 21-7-1968 A-3 took P.W. 74 and two panchas who are P.W. 64 Satyanarayana Rao and P.W. 65 Shanthaveerappa, to the residence of A-l K. S. Ramadas in Arasosi village. A-l was arrested and interrogated. He produced 125 currency notes of Rs. 2/- denodenomination. They are M. O. 147. The notes were in the bag M. O. 148. A slip of paper Ex. P-237 was produced by him. All these articles were sealed and seized under the panchanama Ex. P-365. On 23-7-1968 A-3 voluntarily gave information as per Ex. P-413 to P.W. 74 that he had kept buried certain currency notes and would show that place and produce them. On 24-7-1968 he took P.W. 74 and two panchas P.W. 15 P. Krishnaswamy and P.W. 16 M. Iddinabba to his press. He dug in a portion of the floor and produced a box M. O. 124 which contained 10 bundles of half-finished currency notes of Rs. 2/- denomination marked M. O. 125 and uncut notes of Rs. 2/- denomination marked M. Os. 126 to 129. They were sealed and seized under the panchanama Ex. P-37. The same day A-6 took this party to his house in Aradalu and dug out a cloth bundle in his cow-shed. The bundle M. O. 141 contained blocks for preparing currency notes of Rs. 2/- denomination which are marked as M. Os. 131 to 138. Two booklets M. Os. 139 and 140 were also seized under the panchanama Ex. P-38. Then A-6 took the party to the house of A-5 Satyanarayana Setty in Jayapura. The jeep bearing No. HYK 1122 belonging to A-5 was in the shed. A-5 produced from a tool-box in the jeep 50 currency notes of Rs. 2/- denomination which are marked as M. O. 143. They were sealed and seized under the panchanama Ex. P. 39.

6-A. By 16-8-1967 A-12 Panneerselvam had been arrested by the Sub-Inspector of Police, Salem in connection with the racket concerning counterfeit currency notes of Rs. 2/- denomination. It is the prosecution case that A-12 had given information, to that Sub-Inspector who is examined as P.W. 70, pertaining to the blocks M. Os. 131 to 138. Ultimately, A-12 was arrested by P.W. 76 K. B. Appachu, Circle Inspector of Police on 16-4-1969 in this case after contacting P.W. 70. A-l3 Palaniyappan was arrested by him on 6-5-1969. P.W. 76 investigated deeper into the case and found that A-l Ramdas and A-2 Seenabandari, who were President and Vice-President of Koppa Municipality had gone to Salem prior to May 1966 and stayed in Midland Hotel and visited A-15 Sundaram Chettiar in his house at Salem. P.W. 71 Subramanyam is the son of A-15. He saw A-l, A-2 and A-15 sitting talking. After some time A-l and A-2 went back to the hotel and A-15 sent P.W. 71 to secure A-12 Pannerselvam. A-12 was taken to the house of A-15 and thereafter P.W. 71 was sent to the Midland Hotel to secure A-l and A-2. A-l and A-2 and A-15 and A-12 talked about the deal in connection with the sale of blocks for preparation of counterfeit currency notes of Rs. 2/- denomination. A-12 informed that he would secure the blocks the next day as they were with A-13 Palaniyappan. They and A-13 met on the next day in the house of A-15 and the deal was settled at Rs. 5,000/-. A-l then gave Rs. 500/-, as advance to A-12 and A-13. M. Os. 131 to 138 were handed over to A-l and A-2. It is also the prosecution case that some time thereafter A-12 and A-13 went to P.W. 71 when A-15 had gone out of his house and asked for the balance of Rs. 4,500/- to be given to them but P.W. 71 told them that neither he nor his father had anything to do with that matter. It is nextly the prosecution case that A-l and A-2 entrusted the job of securing a suitable printing press to A-12, A-15 and A-13 and as such on 21-5-1966 A-l and A-2 and A-13 met in Pankaj Hotel, Bangalore. P.W. 43 G. Kishnachand is the proprietor of that hotel. A15 Sundaram Chettiar who was also concerned with this transaction joined these people there. On 24-5-1966, these people contacted P.W. 38 Ramalingappa, who owned a printing press in Manavarthpet, Bangalore. They settled the deal with him and purchased the press marked M. O. 115 from him. P.W. 40 Subbarayalu, binder, was working under P.W. 38 at that time. On 24-5-1966 itself, P.W. 38 and P.W. 40 transported the press after dismantling it to the office of the Deccan Roadways, Bangalore, for transporting it to Shimoga. The press was accordingly transported at 8 p.m. in lorry bearing No. MYX 6617 and driven by P.W. 59 Ramakrishna. A-12 and A-15 travelled in that lorry. A-15 got down at or near-about Birur. The lorry reached Shimoga office of Deccan Roadways in the morning of 25-5-1966. P.W. 51 Murigesha was the clerk of the Deccan Roadways in that office. A-2 was present in the branch office and took delivery of the press from A-12. By that time, P.W. 8 Md. Ibrahim who was the driver of the lorry bearing No. MYS 5560 said to be belonging to Shivanna the deceased accused, had reached there on the instructions of Shivanna. A-2 transported the press to the house of A-l in Koppa in that lorry. The prosecution has no further evidence in regard to the further transport of this press M. O. 115 either to the residence of A-6 or to the residence of A-8 of to the land of A-8 in which it was ultimately found on 19-6-1968 at the instance of A-6.

7. A-12 was remanded to judicial custody on 1-5-1969. By that time he had expressed voluntarily his willingness to make a confessional statement and hence P.W. 76 the C. I. of police had sent a requisition to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Tarikere P.W. 60 P Puttarangappa, requesting him to record the confessional statement of A-12. It is the prosecution case that P.W. 60 did not record the confessional statement of A-12 as he was otherwise busy. On 15-5-1969 P.W. 76 sent another requisition to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Chicktnagalur (P.W. 56) requesting him to record the confessional statement of A-12. It was on 20-5-1969 that P W. 56 recorded the confessional statement Ex. P-360 of A-12.

8. A-13 was remanded to judicial custody on 17-5-1969. P.W. 60 received a requisition sent by P.W. 76 requesting him to record the confessional statement of A-13. He recorded it as per Ex. P-321 on 26-5-1969. It is further the prosecution case that by 11-9-1968, A-9 had expressed voluntarily his willingness to make a confessional statement and accordingly P.W. 76 sent a requisition to P.W. 56 requesting him to record the confessional statement of A-9 but when A-9 was produced before P.W. 56, A-9 refused to make the confessional statement. Then, according to the prosecution, A-9 requested in his letter Ex. P-373 addressed to the Judicial Magistrate to record his lay as he was going to state the truth about the case. P.W. 76 sent another requisition marked Ex. P-335 on 11-11-1968 to P.W. 56 on the basis of Ex. P.373 requesting P.W. 56 to record the confessional statement of A-9. P.W. 56 recorded the confessional statement as pel Ex. P-343 made by A-9 on 19-11-1968. Thereafter the investigation was completed and a charge-sheet was filed against the accused as afore-mentioned.

9. Total dental is the only defence of all the accused persons. A-9, A-12 and A-13 have retracted their confessions.

10. The learned Sessions Judge has not accepted even an iota of material relied upon by the prosecution. He has generally observed about the unreliability of the evidence and the malpractices committed by the investigating officers. He has, on this basis, acquitted all the accused.

11. Shri R. Nagaraj, learned Advocate, who appeared on behalf of the Advocate-General and argued the appeal for the State, took us through the evidence and contended that so far as A-10 is concerned, there is reliable evidence in support of both the offences punishable under Sections 489-B and 489-C of the Indian Penal Code. He further contended that the evidence of P.W. 71 coupled with the confessional statements of A-12 and A-13 as per Exhibits P.360 and P-321 and the evidence pertaining to A-2 having transported the printing press to the house of A-l in Koppa on 25-5-1968 is more than sufficient to establish the charge of conspiracy punishable under Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code against A-l, A-2, A-12 and A-13. He, at the same time, urged that so far as A-l is concerned, the evidence on record was ample enough to establish the charge under Section 489-C of the Indian Penal Code. His last contention was that the evidence adduced by the prosecution as against A-3 to A-6 and A-8 to A-11 was ample enough to establish the charge under Section 489-C of the Indian Penal Code. He then contended that the evidence against A-6 proved the charge under Section 489-D of the Indian Penal Code. He pointed out that in view of the fact that all the witnesses from the concerned localities, particularly Vandagadde having turned hostile, the attempt of the prosecution to prove that particular accused persons had printed the counterfeit currency notes in this case, in the press M. O. 115 in Vandaaadde, has failed.

12. It is, in our opinion, appropriate to consider the case of the prosecution in regard to the offence punishable under Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, in the first instance. As already made clear, the case of the prosecution on this charge is based on the evidence of P.W. 71 and the confessional statements Exs. P-360 and P-321 of A-12 and A-13 respectively and the material pertaining to the purchase of the press M. O. 115 and the transport of the same to Koppa. Before taking up the evidence of P.W. 71 for consideration, we deem it necessary to deal with the confessional statements of A-12 and A-13 and incidentally of A-9 also at this juncture though the confessional statement of A-9 (Ex. P-343) has nothing to do with the offence of conspiracy.

13. P.W. 70, Shankaran, has sworn that he arrested A-12 on 16-8-1967 and interrogated him. That arrest was in regard to the racket concerning counterfeit currency notes of Rs. 2/- denomination. A-12 gave information as recorded by him in his case diary disclosing the sale of blocks used for counterfeiting the currency notes of Rs. 2/-denomination and the police of Kadur had contacted him in that behalf. He has also sworn that thereafter P.W. 76 contacted him by 16-4-1969 and collected all that information. It is hence, clear that P.W. 74, the S.I. of police, Kadur must have contacted P.W. 70 within a reasonable time after 16-8-1967 or at least after 24-7-1968 by which date, he had investigated into this case. There is no explanation forthcoming from the prosecution as to why no steps were taken to go after A-12. It is only after P.W. 76 took up investigation and that too after 16-4-1969 that he contacted P.W. 70 and then took up investigation as against A-12. This is one suspicious circumstance which has a bearing on Ex. P-360.

P.W. 76 R. B. Appachu, Circle Inspector of Police has sworn that A-12 was remanded to judicial custody on 1-5-1969 and by that time A-12 had voluntarily expressed him willingness to make a confessional statement and hence he (P.W. 76) had sent a requisition to P.W. 60 Sub-Divisional Magistrate, TaTikere, requesting him to record the confessional statement of A-12; no such record is produced in this case. Why it is not produced is not explained. Moreover, P.W. 60 has not stated anything in regard to his having received such a requisition from P.W. 76 on or after 1-5-1969 and he having told P.W. 76 that he could not record the confessional statement as he had no sufficient time. P.W. 56, who has recorded the statement Ex. P-360 has sworn that he received the requisition dated 15-5-1969 sent by P W. 76 (Ex. P-353). Therefore, it is seen that the prosecution has not been able to show that P.W. 76 had sent a requisition on 1-5-1969 to P.W. 60. We are unable to understand how P.W. 76 was able to contact A-12 between 1-5-1969 and 15-5-1969 to interrogate A-12 and ascertain whether he was willing to make a confessional statement. It is also not his say that he had contacted A-12 during the period between 1-5-1969 and 15-5-1969 for this purpose or for any other purpose. This is another suspicious circumstance which has to be borne in mind in regard to Ex. P-360.

14. Another doubtful circumstance that has to be borne in mind is that A-12 was in judicial Jock-up in Tarikere. There was a Sub-Divisional Magistrate at Tarikere (P.W. 60) at that time. Even then why P.W. 76 gave a requisition to P.W. 56 the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Chicktnagalur has not been satisfactorily established by the prosecution. In Ex. P-358 wherein the proceedings pertaining to recording of the confessional statement of A-12, it is mentioned by P.W. 56 on 20-5-1969 the date on which Ex. P-360 was recorded, that A-12 had been produced before him at 11 a.m. and he was kept outside the court till 3 p.m. P.W. 56 has now sworn that between 11 a. m. and 3 p.m. A-12 was sitting in his chamber without any police officer to guard him. These versions cannot be reconciled because P.W. 56 has not even attempted to reconcile these two versions. Though A-12 was secured from the judicial lock-up, he was let outside the court of P.W. 56 for a considerable period before Ex. P-360 was recorded and it cannot be known as to what might have happened during that period to impress on the mind of A-12. P.W. 56 has admitted that he did not question A-12 as to when he was arrested and how long he was in the police custody. All the afore-mentioned suspicious circumstances make it difficult for us to hold that Ex. P-360 the confessional statement was voluntarily made by A-12. In this view of the matter, it is not necessary for us to find out whether it is true or not.

15. A-13 was arrested on 6-5-1969 and was remanded to judicial custody on 17-5-1969. P.W. 60 received the requisition from P.W. 76 on 22-5-1969 as per Ex. D-318 and recorded the confessional statement Ex. P-321 on 26-5-1969. He has given evidence that A-13 was produced before him on 23-5-1969. He questioned A-13 and recorded the answers given by him and then sent him back, for reflection. Again on 26-5-1969, A-13 was produced before him and he recorded the confessional statement as per Ex. P-321. He has stated in his cross`examination that all the questions put to A-13 and all the answers given by him (A-13) have been recorded by him. He has further stated that he did not ask him when he (A-13) was arrested, when the police first questioned him and how often they questioned him, where he was taken into custody and whether the police had promised him that he would be made an approver and pardon would be given to him. He has also stated that he did not warn A-13 that the confessional statement to be made by him would be used against him. He has stated specifically that on 26-5-1969, when A-13 was produced before him, he did not warn A-13 that he was not bound to make any statement and if he made one, that would be used in evidence against him. He straightway proceeded to record Ex. P-321.

16. The above narrated material pertaining to recording of the confessional statement Ex. P-321 is more than sufficient to show that Ex. P-321 is not a confessional statement worth the name. It cannot be held that P.W. 60 has complied with the provisions of Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (old).

17. Coming to Ex. P-343, the confessional statement of A-9, we are unable to understand why P.W. 76 gave the requisition Ex. P-335 dated 11-11-1968 to P.W. 56 requesting him to record the confessional statement of A-9 even though A-9 had refused to make a confessional statement on 16-9-1968 when he was secured by P.W. 56 as per the requisition dated 11-9-1968 sent by P.W. 76. The evidence of P.W. 76 is that A.9 had written a letter to the Munsiff-Magistrate that he (A-9) wanted to make a confessional statement and on the basis of that letter, P.W. 76 sent a requisition as per Ex. P-335. Ex. P-373 is the letter said to have been written by A-9 to the Munsiff-Magistrate. He has nowhere stated therein that he wanted to make a confessional statement. He has nowhere requested therein that he wanted the Munsiff-Magistrate to arrange for the recording of the confessional statement. All that is narrated in that letter is that he wanted to state to the Munsiff-Magistrate as to what was the truth in the case and hence, he wanted the Munsiff-Magistrate to record it. The order-sheet maintained by the learned Magistrate, does not show that he had at any time after the receipt of Ex. P-373 either informed or directed P.W. 76 to make arrangements to get the confessional statement of A-9 recorded by a Sub-Divisional Magistrate. Nothing prevented the Munsiff-Magistrate himself from recording the statement of A-9. He has evidently not recorded it because, that was not the request of A-9 in his letter Ex. P-373. This is a very serious draw-back fin the recording of Ex. P-343. The prosecution has no convincing explanation on this point. It is clear that two months earlier A-9, who it is stated had volunteered to make a confessional statement, had refused to make one and it was so recorded on 16-9-1968 and even then it is made to appear that the did volunteer to make a statement in Ex. P-349 on 19-11-1968 after requesting the Munsiff-Magistrate to arrange for it. We are unable to believe this evidence and hence, hold that it is not possible to conclude that Ex. P-343 has been voluntarily made by A-9. In view of this conclusion, it is unnecessary for us to go into the question whether Ex. lp-343 is true or not.

18. This takes us to the evidence of P.W. 71. A reading of his evidence, makes it plain that he has, at one stage tried to involve himself and his father A-15 in the offence of conspiracy and at another stage tried to absolve himself and his father by making it appear that he and his father were agents in bringing together A-l and A-2 on the one hand and A-12 and A-13 on the other to enable them to settle the deal in regard to the blocks M. Os. 131 to 138. This shifting stand taken by him throughout his evidence makes it plain to us that his evidence is no better than that of an accomplice. Therefore, prudence requires that his evidence should be corroborated by other independent reliable evidence at least in material particulars. There could have been corroborative evidence in regard to the stay of A-l and A-2 in Midland Hotel at Salem during the relevant period if the investigating officers had taken care to collect that evidence. A register in regard to arrival and departure of hirers of rooms must have been maintained at Midland Hotel, Salem. But the investigating officers have not explained as to why they did not look into that register. Apart from the say of P.W. 71 that A-l and A-2 had gone to Salem be-tore May 1966 and had stayed in Midland Hotel and met A-12 and A-13 in his house, and further that A-l and A-2 purchased the blocks M. Os. 131 to 138 for Rs. 5,000/- and only an amount of Rs. 500/- was paid, to A-12 and A-13, there is no other evidence produced by the prosecution to corroborate this fact. Shri R. Nagaraj, learned Counsel for the appellant contended that the evidence pertaining to the purchase of the press and the part played by A-12 and A-15 in transporting the press from Bangalore to Shimoga, ought to be taken into consideration in support of the evidence of P.W. 71. We are unable to agree with this contention.

19. P.W. 43 G. Kishnachand, owner of Pankaj Hotel, Bangalore, has sworn that A-l and A-2 had stayed in his hotel from 21-5-1966 till the evening of 24-5-1966. He has also shown in his bill that one more pillow was made available in room No. 19 thereby indicating that they had one more guest who, perhaps was A-15. P.Ws. 38 and 40 have identified A-12 and stated that the press of P.W. 38 was purchased at that point of time and at the instance of A-12 and one Sundaram Chettiar. It was transported to Shimoga in a lorry belonging to Deccan Roadways which left Bangalore at 8 p.m. on 24-5-1966 and reached Shimoga in the morning of 25-5-1966. P.W. 59 Rama-krishna, the driver of the said lorry has sworn that A-12 travelled in that lorry and the press was delivered in Shimoga to A-12. Thereafter, there is the evidence of P.W. 8 Md. Ibrahim and P.W. 51 Murigesha that A-2 took that press in the lorry driven by P.W. 8 to Koppa and delivered in the residence of A-l. The evidence pertaining to the purchase of the press by A-12 from P.W. 38 is convincing. The learned Counsel for the defence pointed out that the receipt Ex. P-189 showing that a press of this description was sold by P.W. 38 in the name of A-13 discloses that the date was originally shown as 25-5-1966 but has been over-written to make it appear that it was made out on 24-5-1966 and that material was sufficient to hold that the prosecution has failed to establish that the press M. O. 115 was sold on 24-5-1966. We are unable to attach much importance to this aspect of the matter. P.W. 38 is evidently the owner of the press M. O. 115 who sold the press at the instance of A-12 in the name of A-13, the said press was transported to Shimoga. We have no reason to disbelieve the evidence of P.W. 59 the driver of the lorry that A-12 travelled in that lorry and took delivery of the press M. O. 115 in Shimoga. But the evidence of P.W. s that the press M. O. 115 was delivered in the house of A-l, is on the face of it, not reliable. Ex. D.I6 is undisputedly the photograph of the house and A.I in Koppa. P.W. $ has sworn that the house in which he delivered the press M. O. 115 in Koppa had an arch in front of it and had R. C. C. roofing. That evidently is not the house depicted in Ex. D-16. It is hence clear that M. O. 115 was not delivered in the house of A-l. There is no evidence produced by the prosecution to show how M. O. 115 the printing press reached the land of A-8 where it was found on 19-7-1968. There is no evidence, as fairly stated by Shri R. Nagaraj, learned Counsel for the appellant, to show that the counterfeit currency notes in question were printed in the press M. O. 115. Hence, it is cleat that the purchase of this press from P.W. 38 and transporting of this press from Bangalore to Shimoga do not constitute incriminating circumstances against A-l, A-2, A-12 and A-13. This material cannot be used to corroborate evidence of P.W. 71 S. Subramanyam in proof of the charge of conspiracy against these persons. Hence we hold that the prosecution has failed to establish the charge of conspiracy punishable under Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code againtl A-l, A-2, A-12 and A-13.

20. We will now proceed to deal with other charges considering the evidence according to the chronology of events.

21. That P.W. 1 A. K. Basappa purchased a land from P.W. 2 ThimmaBovi and the sale-deed Ex P-l was registered on 18-7-1968, cannot be disputed. Equally well it cannot be disputed that P.W. 5 B. Venkataramaiah is the scribe of the sale deed. Both P.Ws. 1 and 2 have sworn that P.W. 5 wrote the sale-deed. P.Ws. 1 and 5 have sworn that the remuneration of P.W. 5 was Rs. 35/- and P.W. 1 paid four currency notes of Rs. 10/- denomination to P.W. 5 and P.W.6 was to return Rs. 5/- to P.W. 1. P.W. 1 is an independent disinterested witness and we have no reason to disbelieve him. He has further on stated that he accompanied P.W. 5 to the bus-stand at Kadul and P.W. 5 gave a currency note of Rs. 10/denomination to A-10 who was in his bunk shop and A-10 took out certain notes from his pant pocket and certain notes from his cash box and gave them to P.W. 5 and then P.W. 5 handed over one currency note of Rs. 5/- denomination to him. P.W. 5 has sworn to the same effect, but has stated further that the currency note of Rs, 2/- denomination which is marked M. O. 1, was taken out by A-10 from his pant pocket and the other notes viz., one of Rs. 5/- denomination and three of Re. 1/- denomination, were taken out from his cash box, and handed over to him, Sri G. Abdul Wajid Khan, learned Advocate appearing on behalf of A-10, urged that P.W. 1 has not stated to this effect and, hence, there is variance between the evidence of P.W. 1 and P.W. 5 and that leads to an inference that P.W. 1 had not witnessed A-10 handing over currency note M. O. 1 to P.W. 5 at that point of time. It may be pointed out at this stage itself that the defence has not at all challenged the opinion given by P.W. 26 Claude D'Souza, the expert from the Government Security Press, that all the notes in question in this case are counterfeit. We, therefore, do not deem it necessary to go into details of this question. This shows that M. O. 1 is a counterfeit currency note. We are unable to agree with Sri Wajid Khan that the above pointed out discrepancy in the evidence of P.W. 1 and P.W. 5 leads to an inference that P.W. 1 had not witnessed P.W. 5 taking change from A-10. Sri Wajid Khan urged that P.W. 5 has sworn that he examined each and every note that was given to him by A-10 and did not find anything unusual in M. O. 1. He in this connection pointed out from the evidence of P.W. 4 Ranganatha Shetty that when P.W. 4 suggested to P.W. 5 that P.W. 5 should lodge information with the police, P.W. 5 hesitated in the first instance and that showed that P.W. 5 himself knew that something was wrong with M. O. 1. It is no doubt true that P.W. 4 has stated that P.W. 5 hesitated when suggestion was given that P.W. 5 should lodge information with the police. But, that is understandable hesitation on the part of P.W. 5 because it is plain that P.W. 5 might not have been at that point of time so much interested in prosecuting the matter further no as to involve himself in attending the case in different courts for the sake of one currency note of Rs. 2/- denomination. P.W. 74 M. C. Narayanappa, the Sub-Inspector of Police, has sworn that P.W. 5 and P.W. 3 K. T. Srinivasa Murthy appeared in the police station and P.W. 5 produced M. O. 1 and lodged information Ex. P-2. The same is the evidence of P.W. 3. P.Ws. 3, 4 and 5 have sworn that P.W. 5 went to the stationery shop of P.W. 4 and purchased two quires of white paper and handed over M. O. 1 to P.W. 4 and P.W. 4 found that it was not genuine. P. Ws, 3 and 4, who are independent disinterested witnesses having nothing to do with A-10, did not, at that time, know that it was from A-10 that P.W. 5 had received M. O. 1. It was only when P.W. 5 disclosed to them that he had received the note from A-10 that they came to know of that fact. In Ex. P-2 P.W. 5 has clearly mentioned that he had received M. O. 1 from Makbul (A-10) in the bunk-shop in the bus-stand at Kadur. He has in no time thereafter led P.W. 74, P.W. 6 and P.W. 15 to the shop of A-10 and pointed out A-10 who apparently was not a stranger to P.W. 5. It was argued by the learned Counsel for the defence that P.Ws. 6 and 15 are stock witnesses for the police as is evident from their cross-examination because they have admitted that they had acted as panchas in some other cases which had been investigated by P.W. 74 as the Sub-Inspector of Police, Kadur Police Station. The decision of the Supreme Court in Hira Lai v. State of Haryana : 1971CriLJ290 was relied upon in support of this contention. In the said case one Kundan Lai was the Sub-Inspector of Police. The accused was offering bribe to him. Kundan Lai decided to get the accused trapped for the offence of offering illegal gratification. Arrangements were made in this regard and witnesses for the trap were secured. It transpired from the evidence of the trap witness that that witness had appeared as a prosecution witness 4 of 5 times in police cases pertaining to the very same police station. Under these circumstance, their Lordships of the Supreme Court held that Kundan Lai was an interested witness as he was himself a participant in having accepted the offer though for working out a case against the accused, and the evidence of the concerned trap witness, who was a prosecution witness 4 to 5 times in police cases pertaining to the same police station, did not carry any value. It is apparent that this view expressed by the Supreme Court was under the facts and circumstances in that case. P.Ws. 6 and 15 are not witnesses to any such trap. It is no doubt true that they have stated in their cross- examination that they had figured as panch witnesses in certain cases investigated by P.W. 74 as the Sub-Inspector of Police, Kadur Police station, but there is the evidence of P.W. 74 himself, and as stated earlier, there is the evidence of P.Ws. 5 and 1 also. We have already found that P.Ws. 1 and 5 are reliable witnesses. There is no reason to disbelieve P.W. 74 and also P.Ws. 6 and 15 under these circumstances. Ex. P-2 has reached the Magistrate at Tarikere at 5.00 p.m. on 19-7-1968 itself. Sri Wajid Khan attempted to argue that even then Ex. P-2 has reached the Magistrate after a considerable delay. We do not agree with this contention. If it had been the case of Ex. P-2 reaching the Court at Kadur, something could have been said in favour of this argument, but in those days there was no court at Kadur. We, therefore, hold that the prosecution has satisfactorily established that A-10 gave M. O. 1 to P.W. 5 when P.W. 5 asked for change for a currency note of Rs. 10/- denomination, and that M. O. 1 is a counterfeit currency note. Now the question is whether A-10 had, knowingly or having reason to believe, trafficked in M. O. 1 the counterfeit currency note. P.W. 5, P.W. 74 and P.Ws. 6 and 15 have sworn that when P.W. 74 interrogated A-10, A-10 produced 13 currency notes of Rs. 2/- denomination marked M. Os. 3 to 15, from his pant pocket and they were seized under panchanama Ex. P-4. Sri Wajid Khan pointed out that according to P.W. 74, P.W. 74 arrested A-10 at 10.00 p.m. and thereafter interrogated him and A-10 gave information as per Ex. P-406 while according to Ex. D.93 the remand application presented by P.W. 74 while seeking orders of remand of A-10 to police custody P.W. 74 has narrated that he had arrested A-10 at 7.30 p.m. He on this basis argued that the evidence of P.W. 74 is suspect and it is not known whether A-10 did in fact produce M. Os. 3 to 15 at 1.00 p.m. We have already found that P, Ws. 5, 6 and 15 are reliable witnesses to the fact of their having gone to the shop of A-10 at the instance of P.W. 5 and A-10 having produced currency notes M. Os. 3 to 15. It is seen from Ex. D.93 that P.W. 74 has written therein that he had arrested A-10 also at 7.30 p.m. It is also seen from his evidence that he has stated therein that he arrested A-10 at 1.00 p.m. These facts make it manifest that P.W. 74 has mentioned in Ex. D.93 the time of arrest of A-10 as 7.30 p.m. only to make it appear to the Magistrate that he had produced A-10 before the. Magistrate within 24 hours. That narration' in Ex. D.93 by itself is not sufficient to draw! an inference that P.W. 74 had not arrested A-10 at 1.00 p.m. There is reliable evidence of P.Ws. 5, 6 and 15 to prove that fact. We, therefore, hold that A-10 did produce M. Os. 3 to 15 at that point of time. Ex. P.406 which reads as follows:

(Original in Kannada omitted-Ed.) discloses that A-10 has stated to P.W. 74 that he had one more note in his house, P.Ws. 6, 15 and 74 have sworn that A-10 took them to his house and brought out a shaving box and from out of that produced another currency note of Rs. 2/- denomination which is marked M. O. 17 and it was seized under Ex. P-5. Once again we have no reason to disbelieve this evidence of P.Ws. 6, 15 and 74. P.W. 36 has given evidence that M. Os. 1, 3 to 15 and 17 are counterfeit currency notes. The prosecution has thus clearly established that A-10 was in possession of M. Os. 1, 3 to 15 and 17 and that he gave M. O. 1 to P.W. 5 when P.W. 5 asked change for a currency note of Rupees 10/- denomination. These facts lead to one and the only inference and that is that A-10 knew or had reason to believe that these currency notes viz., M. Os. 1, 3 to 15 and 17 were counterfeit and he trafficked in M. O. 1 by passing it off to P.W. 5. We, therefore, conclude that the prosecution has satisfactorily established the charges under Sections 489-B and 489-C of the Indian Penal Code, against A-10.

22. It is nextly the prosecution case that A-10 led P.Ws. 74, 6 and 15 to the house of A-9 and pointed out A-9. A-9 was the shroff in the Taluk Treasury at Kadur. A-9 was at that time lying on his cot, and when interrogated by P.W. 74, gave information as per Ex. P-407 which reads as follows:

(Original in Kannada omitted-Ed.) On giving this information, he took out a satchel marked M. 6. 39 from under the pillow and from out of it produced 20 bundles of currency notes of Rs. 2/- denomination which have been marked M. Os. 19 to 38 and which were seized under panchanama Ex. P-6 after preparing Tapsil patti Ex. P-7. It is the evidence of P.Ws. 6, 15 and 74 that P.Ws. 6 and 15 affixed their initials on the top-note and the bottom-note of each bundle while P.W. 74 affixed his initials on each one of the notes at that time. Ex. P-392 is the property form under which these articles were produced before the Magistrate at Tarikere and orders for retaining them in the custody of the police, obtained. It was argued on behalf of A-9 that the evidence in regard to production of these notes by A-9 is contradictory in much as the witnesses are not agreed upon the colour of the bag M. O. 39. It was pointed out before us that one witness has stated that it was a green bag while the other witness has stated that it was a blue bag. We are not impressed by this reasoning because the bag M. O. 39 has been identified by each one of these witnesses. It is immaterial whether one witness felt the colour to be green and one witness felt the colour to be blue. We find that the colour of the bag is bluish-green. It was vehemently argued that M. Os. 19 to 38 are not the currency notes that are said to have been produced by A-9 as it is available in the evidence that certain notes said to have been seized from A-9 were exhibited in Kadur, for the benefit of the public, for about three days from 22-7-1968 and that circumstance showed that the seals that had been put on the notes that were said to have been produced by A-9 had been opened and the notes handled. It was in this strain argued that there was no knowing whether the very notes that were said to have been produced by A-9 had been sent to P.W. 26. The learned Counsel appearing for the State, relied on Exhibits P-21 and P-22 to meet this argument. Ex. P-21 is the mahazar recorded at the time of opening the seal of the bundles of notes said to have been produced by A-9. Ex. P-22 is the mahazar recorded at the time of re-sealing of the bundles of notes. The evidence in regard to this aspect of the matter is that of P.Ws. 6 and 74. P.W. 6 is a witness from Kadur itself. It may be remembered that P.W. 6 was one of the panchas to the production of the currency notes by A-9 seized under Exhibits P-6 and P-7. The defence urged that according to P.W. 6 and P.W. 74, and Ex. P-21, the seals were opened as per the orders of the Taluka Magistrate, but that order is not available on record and that showed that the version given by these witnesses appears to be a myth. It was also argued by the defence that Ex. P-7 does not bear the signature of P.W. 15, while it bears the signature of P.W. 6 a witness from Kadur itself and that showed that Ex. P-7 Tapsil patti in regard to numbers of the notes seized under Ex. P-6, must have been prepared much later than Ex. P-6. According to the defence all these are suspicious circumstances in regard to production of M. Os. 19 to 38 by A-9 and, hence, the prosecution has not satisfactorily established that A-9 had produced these very notes. Assistance was also sought by the defence from the evidence of P.W. 15 who has in the course of his cross examination stated that not only notes but also blocks viz., M. Os. 131 to 138 had been exhibited in the exhibition during the said dates. It would be appropriate to deal with that aspect of the matter while dealing with the case against A-6, who according to the prosecution, has produced M. Os. 131 to 138.

23. It is undisputed that certain currency notes of Rs. 2/- denomination were exhibited in Kadur, for the benefit of the public, during the said period. According to the prosecution witnesses viz. P.Ws. 6 & 74, those notes were M. Os. 19 to 38 produced by A-9 on 18-7-1968. The evidence of P.Ws. 6 and 74 is supported by what is found in panchanamas Exhibits P.21 and P.22. The order of the Taluka-Magistrate empowering P.W. 74 to open the seals on the bundle containing M. Os. 19 to 38, is not on record. But, in our opinion it cannot be said that no such order had been passed because list of documents appended to the charge-sheet a;! having been produced while placing the charge-sheet in Court, does make mention of such an order. The list is marked Ex. P-382. This shows that when the charge-sheet was filed, the said order had been produced and that order is now missing from the records. Even otherwise, when P.W. 74 has opened the seals in the presence of the panchas particularly P.W. 6 who was also a panch and who still possessed the seal affixed at the time of seizure of M. Os. 19 to 38, and resealed the same under Ex. P-22 in the presence of panchas including P.W. 6. We are unable to see how it can be contended that any tampering with those notes could have been made. We are convinced that the notes that were seized under panchanama Ex. P-6 were the notes that were exhibited after the opening the bundles under Ex. P-21 and after exhibiting the same, were re-bundled and sealed under Ex. P-22. Therefore, the notes remained in the same condition as they were when they were seized under panchanama Ex. P-6. The argument pertaining to Ex. P-7 the Tapsil patti loses much of its importance because we have believed P.Ws. 6 and 15 about the seizure of these very notes under Ex. P-6. So long as the seals remained intact, the details in regard to the numbers of the notes seized as contained in Ex. P-7, become inconsequential. Therefore, this argu. ment also has to fail. Hence, we hold that the prosecution has satisfactorily established that A-9 did possess 20 bundles of currency notes of Rs. 2/ denomination and which are marked M. Os. 19 to 38. The total number of notes is found to be 1888. It is established by the evidence of P.W. 26 which has not been seriously challenged before us, that all these notes are counterfeit currency notes. Hence, the charge under Section 489-C of the Indian Penal Code is satisfactorily established against A-9.

24. According to the prosecution A-9 after producing the said notes, led P.Ws. 6, 15 and 74 to the teashop of A-11 and A-11 was interrogated by P.W. 74. A-11 produced four currency notes of Rs. 2/- denomination viz., M. Os. 42 to 45. They were seized under panchanama Ex. P-9. Ex. P-9 mentions the details of the numbers of the notes also. Each one of these notes bears the signatures of the panchas P.Ws. 6 and 15 and the investigating officer P.W. 74. This evidence satisfactorily establishes possession of these notices, which are proved to be counterfeit by the evidence of P.W. 26, by A-11. It was argued on behalf of A-11 and that showed that possession of these notes ought not to be attributed to A-11. We are not impressed by this argument because the evidence of P.Ws. 6, 15 and 74 is, and that is supported by Ex. P-9, that A-11 himself took out the notes from below the radio and produced them. It is also the evidence of P.Ws. 6 and 15 that A-9 was managing that hotel during the relevant period. Hence, we hold that the charge under Section 489-C. of the Indian Penal Code has been satisfactorily established against A-11 also.

25. On 19-7-1968, according to the prosecution A-9 took P.W.74, P.W. 6 and another panch, to the residence of A-3 at Jaipura. On these people going there and interrogating A-3, A-3 produced 23 bundles marked M. Os. 47 to 69 containing currency notes of Rs. 2/- denomination. They were seized under panchanama Ex. P-11 and Tapsil patti Ex. P-12 was prepared. A-4 was also present in the house of A-3. A-4 was lying on a bed in a room. When P.W. 74 interrogated A-4, he gave information as per Ex, P-408 stating that he had with him a bundle of one hundred counterfeit currency notes. It is the evidence of P.Ws. 6, 15 and 74 that A-4 took out the bundle M. O. 70 from below the bed on which he was lying, and it was seized under panchanama Ex. P-13. P.W. 6, we have already found, is a reliable witness. Nothing worthwhile has been pointed out in the evidence of P.W. 74 to show that any part of his evidence pertaining to A-3 is suspect. P.W. 74 would not have come across A-3 unless A-9 had led him to the house of A-3 in Jaipura. This provides the link in the investigation in regard to these counterfeit currency notes of Rs. 2/- denomination. These facts and circumstances convince us that the evidence of P.Ws. 6 and 74 that A-3 produced M. Os. 47 to 69 and which are seized under panchanama Ex. P-11 , is reliable. The argument of the defence that Ex. P-12 the Tapsil patti does not bear the signature of the other panch but bears only the signature of P.W. 6 and that shows that Ex. 12 must have been prepared much later after Ex. P-11 , does not carry any weight because top-note and the bottom-note of each one of these 23 bundles have been in felled by the two panchas i. e., P.W. 6 and another, and each one of these notes in these 23 bundles bears the initials of P.W. 74; it is immaterial when Ex, P-12 was prepared though we are not prepared to hold that it was prepared later. We, therefore, conclude that the prosecution has satisfactorily established that A-3 did possess these bundles containing currency notes of Rs. 2/- denomination and which have been satisfactorily proved to be counterfeit by the evidence of P.W. 26, and be did produce these notes. The offence under Section 489-C of the Indian Penal Code, is satisfactorily established against A-3,

26. To deal completely with the case of the prosecution against A-3, it is appropriate to narrate at this stage itself the events that transpired on 23-7-1968 and 24-7-1968. P.W. 74 has worn that on 23-7-1968 he interrogated A-3, as on 19-7-1968 no incriminating article had been found in the press of A-3, and A-3 voluntarily stated before him as per Ex. P-414 reading as follows :

[Matter in Kannada Omitted-Ed.]

The interrogation had taken place in Kadur. P.W. 74 has stated that he secured P.Ws. 15 and 16 on 24-7-1968 and A-3 led him and these panchas to his press and dug the floor and produced box M. O. 124 containing many bundles of counterfeit currency notes marked M. Os. 125 to 129. The bundles contained notes at various stages of preparation. All these notes have been examined by P.W. 26 and found to be counterfeit. P.W. 26 has given clear evidence in this case that on receiving all these notes and the blocks M. Os. 131 to 138, he printed notes by making use of the blocks M. Os, 131 to 138 and found that all the notes in this case had been printed by means of those blocks. In regard to this part of the prosecution case, it was argued on behalf of the defence that there is contradiction in the evidence of P.Ws. 15 and 16 as to whether a policeman dug the floor and brought out the box or A-3 dug the floor and brought out the box. There is variance in their evidence in regard to this aspect of the matter. But, both of them have made it clear at another stage in their evidence that it was A-3 who dug the floor. The same is the narration in Ex. P-37 the mahazar under which these bundles were seized, and that is also the evidence of P.W. 74. We have no reason to disbelieve P.Ws. 15 and 16 and P.W. 74. We, therefore, hold that in regard to these counterfeit currency notes which are at various stages of preparation, A-3 has committed an offence punishable under Section 489-C of the Indian Penal Code.

27. A-4 is not a member of the family of A-3. ''The case of the prosecution is that A-4 was lying on a bed in a room im the house of A-3 when these people i.e., P, Ws. 6 and 74 and another panch, visited the house of A-3 at the instance of A-9. The fact that A-3 did possess a huge quantity of similar notes, does probabilise that A-3 might have secreted one bundle below the bed o which A-4 might have been innocently lying down. It might also be that A-4 did know that such a bundle was below the bed oa which he was lying. But, it cannot be coo clusively inferred that the bundle was in the exclusive possession of A-4. Hence, we hok that the prosecution has failed to establish the charge under Section 489-C of the Indian Penal Code, against A-4.

28. On 19-7-1968, A-3 led the party consisting of P.Ws. 74 and 6 and another, from his house to the house of A-5, but nothing incriminating was found with A-5. Then he led this party to the house of A-8 in Vandagadde. A-6 was present in the house. On interrogation by P.W. 74, A-6 gave information as per Exhibits P-409 and P-410. disclosing that the instruments had been kept by him in the up-stairs of the house of A-8 and the press was in the land which place he would show. He took the party to the upstairs and produced articles M. Os. 72 to 112 which were sealed and seized under panchanama Ex. P-18. M. Os. 110, 111 and 112 are the bundles of currency notes in various stages of preparation. P.W. 26 has given evidence that these are all counterfeit currency notes. M. O. 98 is 'Ashoka Stamba' fitted to a wooden block and M. O. 99 consists of six metal 'Ashoka Stambas' but uncounted. P.W. 26 has sworn that these have been used to imprint the water-mark on the counterfeit currency notes seized in this case. These are incriminating articles. This evidence satisfactorily establishes the charges under Sections 489-C and 489-D of the Indian Penal Code, against A-6. But, this material is not sufficient to hold that A-8 is guilty of the offence under Section 489-C, of the Indian Penal Code though the articles were found in the house of A-8 because they have been produced at the instance of A-6 only. The event that thereafter happened was that A-6 took this party to the land of A-8 and pointed out the press M. O. 115 which was lying in caved in portion of the land. We have already held that the press has not been connected to these counterfeit currency notes and as such the finding of this press M. O. 115 in the land of A-8 at the instance of A-6, cannot be considered an incriminating evidence either against A-6 or A-8.

29. To complete the case of the prosecution against A-6, we deem it appropriate to narrate the events that transpired on 23-7-1968 and 24-7-1968. On 23-7-1968, A-6 voluntarily gave information as per Ex. P-413 to P.W. 74 that he had wrapped up 8 blocks in a paper and put the bundle in a bag and buried it in a cattle-shed behind his house in Aradal. On 24-7-1968 A-6 took P.Ws. 74, 15 and 16 to his cattle-shed in Aradol. He dug out a cloth bundle M. O. 141 which contained blocks M. Os. 131 to 138 wrapped in a paper. P.W. 74 seized them under panchanama Ex. P-38. We have already mentioned that P.W. 26 has printed currency notes by means of these blocks and has found that all the currency produced in this case had been printed by means of these blocks. He has produced the different prints at various stages he has taken. They are marked Exhibits P-150 to P-157. This material also establishes the charge under Section 489-D of the Indian Penal Code, against A-6.

30. On 21-7-1968, A-3 led P.W. 74 and the two panchas P.W. 64 Satyanarayana Rao and P.W. 65 Shanthaveerappa, to the house of A-l in Arasosi village. A-l was arrested and interrogated by P.W. 74, and he stated as per Ex. P-411 as follows :

[Matter in Kannada Omitted-Ed.]

On so stating he produced bag M. O. 148 which contained 125 currency notes of Rs. 2/- denomination which are marked M. O. 147. They were seized under panchanama Ex. P-365. The slip marked Ex. P-237, containing addresses, was also found in the bag. P.W. 64 ha sworn that they reached Arasosi by 5.30 p.m. or 6.00 p.m. and that the house was open, but there was none in the house. P.W. 65 has sworn to the same effect. He has further stated that the cot was visible from out-side. They were all waiting in front of the house for about an hour. Thereafter A-l appeared and then P.W. 74 arrested him and interrogated him. According to the prosecution, when these people went to the house of A-l, A-1 was lying on his cot and at that stage P.W. 74 arrested him and interrogated him, and then A-l produced the said bag. What P.W. 65 has stated directly contradicts this version. If A-l was not in the house and had gone out leaving the front door open and the cot was visible from out-side, the version of the prosecution that when these people went there A-l was lying on his cot, is belied. In Ex. P-85 the remand application filed by P.W. 74 for securing the orders of remand to the police custody in regard to A-l, he has narrated that A-l was arrested by him at 9.00 p.m. This fact coupled with the other suspicious circumstance narrated above, shows that it is not safe to rely on the evidence of these witnesses. Moreover, P.W. 53 Krishnappa Gowda has sworn that the house at Arasosi Village in which A-l was supposed to have been when M. O. 147 was seized, belong to A-l's divided uncle Srinivasa and that Srinivasa resides therein. He has also stated that A-l's house is in Koppa and that houw is pictured in Ex. D-16. This material shows that the prosecution has not satisfactorily established that A-l was in possession of M. O. 147 which is said to have been seized in the house at Arasosi.

31. A-5 was secured and interrogated by P.W. 74 and he voluntarily stated at per Ex. P-412, which reads as follows:

[Matter in Kannada Omitted-Ed.]

Then he took them to his house in Jaipur a and produced 50 counterfeit currency note of Rs. 2/- denomination marked M. O. 143 from the tool box of the jeep, and they were seized under panchanama Ex. P-39. It is no doubt true that we have held that P.W. 15, 16 and 74 are reliable witnesses so far as their evidence against the other accused, is concerned. It is to be remembered that on 19-7-68 itself, according to the prosecution, A-3 took P.W. 75 and the panchas P.W. 6 and another, to the house of A-5 and nothing incriminating was found. P.W. 74 has not explained what made him secure A-5 again on 24-7-1968 and interrogate him. If on 49-7-1968 itself the house of A-5 had been searched by P.W. 74 and his people, it is unlikely that A-5 would have kept any counterfeit currency notes in his house or in his car-shed, at least after 19-7-1968. Hence the evidence pertaining to the production of M. O. 143 does not appear to be natural. We find it difficult to act on this evidence to hold that the prosecution has satisfactorily established the charge under Section 489-C of the Indian Penal Code, against A-5.

32. After re-assessing the entire evidence, we find that the conclusions of the learned Sessions Judge so far as they relate to A-3, A-6, A-9, A-10and A-11, are not sustainable. We allow this appeal as against A-3 K. R. Subramanyam, A-6 Chinne Gowda, A-9 V. S. Visweswaraiah, A-10, Makbul Ahmed and A-11 D. K. Mohammed, and set aside the judgment of acquittal passed in their favour. We convict A-3 K. R. Subramanyam, A-9 V. S. Visweswariah and A-11 E. K. Mohammed, for having committed an offence punishable under Section 489-C of the Indian Penal Code and sentence each one of them to undergo rigorous imprisonment for two years. We convict A-6 Chinne Gowda for having committed offences punishable under Sections 489-C and 489-D of the Indian Penal Code. We sentence him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for two years for the offence under Section 489-C of the Indian Penal Code. We also sentence him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for two years and to pay a fine of Rs. 300/- and in default to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a further period of one month, for the offence under Section 489-D of the Indian Penal Code. We direct that the substantive sentences should run concurrently. We convict A-10 Makbul Ahmed for having committed an offence punishable under Section 489-B of the Indian Penal Code and sentence him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for two years and to pay a fine of Rs. 300/- and in default to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a further period of one month. We also convict him for having committed an offence punishable under Section 489-C of the Indian Penal Code and sentence him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for two years. We direct that the substantive sentences should run concurrently. We dismiss the appeal against the remaining accused persons.


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