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Sheopujan Dhar Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Appeal No. 138 of 1968
Judge
Reported in1969(2)LC548(SC)
ActsIndian Penal Code (IPC) - Sections 34 and 420
AppellantSheopujan Dhar
RespondentState of Uttar Pradesh
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
.....has held that the evidence against them is clearly distinguishable as both these persons were neither applicants for the seed nor had they signed or affixed their thumb impressions on the bond exh......and thumb impression of the cultivators on the bond and accordingly he verified the signatures and thumb impressions ka 5, and signed it. as there was not sufficient quantity in the godown, p.w i could only give 9 mds and 10 seers of seeds which was kept in four bags and delivered it to the cultivators. with respect to the balance of 9 mds. and 20 seers, he was to make arrangement. gafoor appears to have taken charge of these bags. just then, it appears, ram swarth p.w. 4, and sheo pershad, p.w.5, residents of asner village which is adjoining imilia village in which the four cultivators reside, had come to p.w. 1, for obtaining seed. on being asked by p.w. 1 to verity the bond form exh. 1 as they were the residents of the neighbouring village, p.w. 4 and p.w.5 revealed that the four.....
Judgment:

P. Jaganmohan Reddy, J.

1. This appeal is by special leave against the judgment of the High Court of Allahabad whereby it confirmed the conviction of Sheopujan Dhar and Jagdambika Dhar under Section 419 read with Section 34 I.P.C. but varied their conviction under Section 420 read with Section 511 I.P.C. The sentence awarded by the Additional Sessions Judge under the first charge was maintain ed while the sentence of 3 years and fine of Rs. 200/- imposed under the second charge was reduced to 1 1/2 years R.I., with a fine of Rs. 100/- in default further 3 moths R.I. The sentences were term concurrently.

2. According to the prosecution it appeals that on November 2, 1969 four cultivators of the village Imilia, namelv, Sheopujan Dhar, Jagdambika Dhar, Uma Shankar and Sarjoo Dhar under the assumed names of Lalta; Kashi, Awadh Pershad and Kamta respectively, approached Jagdish Narain Tripathi P.W. 1 who was in charge of Bansi Seed Store and whose duty it was to distribute seeds to Bhumidars and Sirdars of Bansi Block, for a bond prescribed for the purpose. The bond Ex.1, was obtained on that day and on November 20, 1960 these four persons along with one Gafoor under the assumed names of Rahim came to Jagdish Narain and gave the bond duly executed for obtaining 34 mds. of grain for seed. This application was duly verified by Rudra Lekhpal. P.W. 1., however, found that they were not entitled to 34 mds. but only to 18 mds. and 30 seers and accordingly he corrected the figure in the bond and took the signatures of the applicants. He also signed opposite to their signatures against the Correction. Inasmuch as Rudra Lekhpal had verified the application for 34 mds. of seed, P.W. 1. asked them to bring him so that he could also I make the necessary correction in his verification. Accordingly, Suraj Dhar went to bring the Lekhpal but returned after sometime with the information that he was not available. P.W. 1, asked Jagdambika to verify the signatures and thumb impression of the cultivators on the bond and accordingly he verified the signatures and thumb impressions Ka 5, and signed it. As there was not sufficient quantity in the godown, P.W I could only give 9 mds and 10 seers of seeds which was kept in four bags and delivered it to the cultivatOrs. With respect to the balance of 9 mds. and 20 seers, he was to make arrangement. Gafoor appears to have taken charge of these bags. Just then, it appears, Ram Swarth P.W. 4, and Sheo Pershad, P.W.5, residents of Asner village which is adjoining Imilia village in which the four cultivators reside, had come to P.W. 1, for obtaining seed. On being asked by P.W. 1 to verity the bond form Exh. 1 as they were the residents of the neighbouring village, P.W. 4 and P.W.5 revealed that the four cultivators and Rahim were imposters. When the witnesses disclosed their real names, the five of them , started to run and were chased. Two of them Jagdambika and Uma Shankar were apprehended while the 3 others escaped. Immediately on F.I.R. was prepared and issued at 3.30 p.m. All the five were charged with offences under Section 420/34 and Section 419/34 but as Uma Shankar had absconded the case was tried against the four.

3. The accused claimed that they were falsely implicated, that the signatures and thumb impressions on Exh. 1 were not theirs that the witnesses P.W.4 and P.W.5 were inimically disposed to them and that their identification was a mistake. The signatures and thumb impressions of the accused were sent to the Handwriting expert Lila Ram for his opinion after comparing them with their admitted signatures and thumb impressions. The evidence of the expert was challenged in the ground that he did not give any reasons for coming to the conclusion that the disputed thumb impressions were the same as those in Exh. 1 but the Additional Sessions Judge as well as the High Court on a review of the expert's evidence accepted his opinion.

4. Before us Miss Uma Mehta contends that there is no evidence that the seed was delivered, as such there can be no conviction of an attempted cheating; secondly when two of the accused were properly acquitted then it must be deemed on the evidence which says all of them had signed that none of them signed and the appellants must be acquitted; and thirdly, the learned advocate submits that neither the identification has been satisfactorily established for the evidence of P.W. 4 and P.W. 5 ought to have been accepted.

5. In our view of these contetions has any validity. Ordinarily this Court does not interfere with the appreciation of evidence made by the trial court or the High Court with the conclusions which they have arrived. Apart from this, there is in our view, ample evidence to substantiate the charge against the accused. P.W.4 and P.W. 5 know the accused well and it was they who had exposed them as imposters. Immediately after they were exposed, they started to run away. One of them at any rate was caught and in the E.I.R. that was given soon after without any delay the names of these appellants find a place. In these circumstances, there is no question of holding a test identification parade as P. Ws. 4 and 5 could easily identify them and so could P.W. 1 Appellant Jagdambika had been, as we said earlier, apprehended and handed over to the police. The other witnesses Murtaza Hussain, Rahmat AH and Dadri Parshad also state that he was the person who impersonated himself as Awadh Parshad.

6. The signature of Jagdambika Dhar appellant which was affixed in the presence of P.W. 1 was also proved by him as that of the appellant. The only way in which it could have been proved is by the person who has seen it being affixed. Both the Courts have accepted the statement of P.W. 1 as wholly reliable and nothing could be urged against him. Nor was there any necessity to get the accused's signature examined by a handwriting expert. The thumb impression of the other accused Sheopujan Dhar has been examined by the expert and compared with his admitted thumb impression and found by him to tally. The expert had stated that he had marked several similarities in the disputed and the admitted thumb impressions which induced him to say that both are of the same person. We are not in a position to say otherwise.

7. In so far as the two acquitted accused are concerned, namely Sarjoo Dhar and Ghafoor, the trial court has held that the evidence against them is clearly distinguishable as both these persons were neither applicants for the seed nor had they signed or affixed their thumb impressions on the bond Exh. 1 in the presence of P.W. 1 we see no reason to think that merely because they are acquitted, it follows that the appellants should also be acquitted particularly when the evidence against them does not establish any of the ingredients of the offence.

8. The last point urged, by the learned advocate is that there is no offence of cheating or attempt to cheat as the goods were not delivered but were only intended to be delivered. In this case there is evidence to show that 4 bags of 9 mds. 10 seers of seed were delivered to the accused and they were sitting on them while P.W. 1 was trying to make arrangements to get the balance of the seed also delivered to them. In this state of evidence which is accepted by both the Courts there is no question of assailing the convictions. We accordingly dismiss the appeal.


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