1. Respondents 1 to 6 are being tried for offences punishable variously under Sections 409/420/120-S/477-A and 467 of the Penal Code, as also under Sections 5(1)(c) and 5(1)(d) read with Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947. The case of the prosecution is that Respondents 1 to 4, who are government servants, acting in conspiracy with Respondents 5 and 6 defrauded the Government of a sum of Rs 5241.20 by means of fictitious cash memos.
2. On November 10, 1972, Respondents 5 and 6 filed an application in the trial court for the grant of pardon to them under Section 337(1) of the Code of 1898. The Prosecution supported that application. By a judgment dated December 15, 1972, the learned 4th Additional Special Judge, Calcutta, rejected that application. Yet another application was filed by Respondents 5 and 6 during the trial stating that they were willing to be examined as approvers and that they should be granted pardon. That application was allowed on November 22, 1973. The trial court tendered pardon to Respondents 5 and 6 and directed that the prosecution shall be at liberty to examine them as approvers subject to the usual conditions.
3. Respondent 1 challenged the aforesaid order by preferring a revision application in the High Court of Calcutta. By its judgment dated July 12, 1974, a Division Bench of the High Court allowed the Revision application and set aside the order of the trial court. This appeal by special leave is directed against the order of the High Court.
4. In State of U.P. v. Kailash Nath Agarwal1 this Court held that the rejection of an application for the grant of pardon does not bar a fresh application for the same relief, provided that there are new and additional facts on the basis of which the earlier decision can be reconsidered. In the instant case, Respondents 5 and 6 placed no new facts before the Court to justify the fresh application for the grant of a relief which the Court had, on full consideration of the matter, declined to grant. The main reasons cited by Respondents 5 and 6 in support of the second application are — (1) that they had retracted their confessional statements; (2) that a large number of vouchers alleged to have been issued by them had remained unproved because of non-availability of witnesses to prove their handwriting; and (3) that though they are alleged to have granted false cash memos, Respondents 1 to 4 who were Government servants were the real offenders and they would go scot-free for want of evidence unless pardon was granted to them i.e. to Respondents 5 and 6. Since these reasons do not fall within the ratio of the judgment of this Court to which we have referred above, we are of the opinion that the trial court was in error in entertaining the fresh application filed by Respondents 5 and 6 for the grant of pardon.
5. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal and confirm the judgment of the High Court.