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Gopi Nath Mehrotra Vs. Emperor - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1944All193
AppellantGopi Nath Mehrotra
RespondentEmperor
Excerpt:
- - the learned judge has found that the applicant may have collected the small coins in the month of november and deposited them in his own private safe on the bank's premises. 540 in small coins in november from the bank and put it in his personal safe. the evidence is that he had such a safe......he was leaving the bank at closing time. he was in a tonga and had with him a sum of rs. 540 in small coins. he was charged with an offence under rule 90(2)(d), defence of india rules. the magistrate who tried him sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment for a period of one year and a fine of rs. 500. he also directed that the small change seized at the time of the applicant's arrest should be confiscated. the applicant appealed to the. sessions judge of cawnpore who reduced the sentence of imprisonment to the period already undergone, but maintained the fine and the order of confiscation. the applicant now asks us to interfere in accordance with our revisional jurisdiction. we have been taken through the judgment of the learned sessions judge and we find that his conclusions on the.....
Judgment:

Allsop, J.

1. The applicant was the treasurer of the Reserve Bank Currency Office at Cawnpore. He was arrested on 17th December 1942 when he was leaving the bank at closing time. He was in a tonga and had with him a sum of Rs. 540 in small coins. He was charged with an offence under Rule 90(2)(d), Defence of India Rules. The Magistrate who tried him sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment for a period of one year and a fine of Rs. 500. He also directed that the small change seized at the time of the applicant's arrest should be confiscated. The applicant appealed to the. Sessions Judge of Cawnpore who reduced the sentence of imprisonment to the period already undergone, but maintained the fine and the order of confiscation. The applicant now asks us to interfere in accordance with our revisional jurisdiction. We have been taken through the judgment of the learned Sessions Judge and we find that his conclusions on the question of fact involved are in favour of the applicant. He has given the applicant the benefit of doubt on some of these points. The applicant is entitled to that benefit and where the Sessions Judge said that the fact might be either this or that, the applicant is entitled to interpret the finding in a way as favourable to him as possible. It was admitted that he was taking a sum of Rs. 540 away from the bank in small coins, but his defence was that he required the money for the purpose of a marriage which was taking place in his house at the end of December. The learned Judge has found that this allegation may be true and, therefore, we must act on the assumption that it is true. The learned Judge has maintained the conviction merely upon the ground that the applicant did not obtain the sanction of the Currency Officer to the acquisition of these small coins. The relevant rule in the Defence of India Rules says that no person shall acquire coins to an amount in excess of his personal or business requirements for the time being and that in the case of an acquisition from a Currency Office, the question of the amount necessary to any person shall be determined by the Currency Officer and his determination shall be final. The learned Judge has found that the applicant may have collected the small coins in the month of November and deposited them in his own private safe on the bank's premises. There is the evidence of the Currency Officer that there were no restrictions in November on the payment of small coins, that is any person who went to counter and made a claim could receive any amount of money in small coins. The learned Judge seems to think that no person even at that time was entitled to take any money away in small, coins from the Currency Office unless he had personally obtained the authority of the Currency Officer, that is he had required from the Currency Officer an adjudication that the amount he was taking was not in excess of his personal or business requirements. We do not think that the rule can be interpreted in this way. Its intention seems to be that the Currency Officer is entitled to determine how much money he should pay to any person, and if the sum is a large one, no other person shall thereafter be in a position to say that it was in fact in excess of the needs of the person acquiring it. As anybody in November could go to the bank and get as much money in small coins as he desired, it must be assumed that the Currency Officer at that time considered that whatever amount any person might demand would not be in excess of his requirements. We do not see why the applicant should have been in any worse position than any other person. If he could take such sum of money as he thought necessary in small coins in November, he was entitled to do so. We think, therefore, that it cannot possibly be said that the applicant on the findings of the learned Judge of the Court below was guilty of any offence, if he took this sum of Rs. 540 in small coins in November from the bank and put it in his personal safe. The evidence is that he had such a safe. In . our judgment, the conviction is not justified on the findings of fact and whatever we may feel about the morality of the applicant's conduct, we must hold that he was not guilty of any offence.

2. We, therefore, allow this application, set aside the conviction and sentence and direct that the fine or any portion of it which has been paid shall be refunded. We also direct that the sum of Rs. 540 which has been confiscated should be refunded to the applicant although not necessarily in small coins.


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