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ChaIn Sukh Ranga Vs. the State of Rajasthan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Criminal Revision Petition No. 844 of 1976
Judge
Reported in1979WLN275
AppellantChaIn Sukh Ranga
RespondentThe State of Rajasthan
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredJ.M. Desai v. State of Bombay
Excerpt:
.....under the said act. - learned additional sessions judge has proceeded on the basis that 132 quintals of fodder had been entered in the stock register by the accused himself and besides that he had failed to make entry of 36 quintals of fodder admittedly received by him. the principal ingredient of the offence being dishonest misappropriation or conversion which may not ordinarily be a matter of direct proof, entrustment of property and failure in breach of an obligation, to account for the property entrusted, if proved, may in the light of other circumstances, justifiably lead to an inference of dishonest misappropriation or conversion in the present case, the accused had been entrusted with the property in question with specific direction to sell it on behalf of the state and it..........that at the time when the charge was taken from the accused there was in stock only 25 quintals of fodder. learned additional sessions judge has proceeded on the basis that 132 quintals of fodder had been entered in the stock register by the accused himself and besides that he had failed to make entry of 36 quintals of fodder admittedly received by him. therefore, at any rate, he was bound to account for 168 quintals out of which 25 quintals only was lying in stock at the time of handing over of the charge by the accused.3. the learned counsel for the accused petitioner has argued that 36 quintals are included in 132 quintals even though there is no entry regarding 36 quintals the explanation furnished on behalf of the accused is that the accused forgot to make an entry of 36 quintals as.....
Judgment:

C.M. Lodha, C.J.

1. Petitioner Chain Sukh Ranga was charged under Section 409, I.P.C. for committing criminal breach of trust in respect of 541.46 quintals of fodder entrusted to him as Village Level Worker (Gram Sewak) of villge Sangar. The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jaisalmer, found the charge to be proved and, by his judgment dated February 27, 1975, convicted the accused under Section 409, IPC. and sentenced him to undergo simple imprisonment for one year and to pay a fine of Rs. 1000/-, in default of payment of fine to undergo further simple imprisonment for three months., Aggrieved by the judgment of the trial court, the accused filed an appeal, which was allowed in part by the Additional Sessions Judge No. 2, Jodhpur, in as much as even though the conviction under Section 409, IPC. was maintained, the substantive sentence was reduced to six months, simple imprisonment and the sentence of fine was kept in tact. Hence the accused has filed this revision-petition.

2. The learned Additional Sessions Judge No.2, Jodhpur, held that it was not proved that at the time when the petitioner took over the charge, 373.43 quintals of fodder was in stock However, he came to the conclusion that, as admitted by the accused himself, 36 quintals of fodder had been received by him and further that according to entry made by himself, there was a stock of 132 quintals on March 3, 1969. It is not disputed that at the time when the charge was taken from the accused there was in stock only 25 quintals of fodder. Learned Additional Sessions Judge has proceeded on the basis that 132 quintals of fodder had been entered in the stock register by the accused himself and besides that he had failed to make entry of 36 quintals of fodder admittedly received by him. Therefore, at any rate, he was bound to account for 168 quintals out of which 25 quintals only was lying in stock at the time of handing over of the charge by the accused.

3. The learned Counsel for the accused petitioner has argued that 36 quintals are included in 132 quintals even though there is no entry regarding 36 quintals The explanation furnished on behalf of the accused is that the accused forgot to make an entry of 36 quintals as the 'Takhpati', which was in a pocket of his pant, was destroyed when the pant was given to the washerman. In my opinion, the explanation is neither reasonable, nor acceptable. Even if the 'Takhpari' was lost, the accused could have made an entry by memory of the receipt of 36 quintals of fodder. The finding of the learned Additional Sessions Judge that at any rate the petitioner was bound to account for 36 quintals of fodder is correct. Now even regarding 132 quintals of fodder admittedly in stock on March 3, 1969, about two months after taking ever charge by the petitioner, the explanation of the petitioner is that the fodder had been eaten away by the cattle of the village and only 25 quintals of fodder were left. This explanation also is preposterous and has rightly been discarded by the lower courts. In the first instance, such a huge quantity of fodder could not have been allowed to be eaten away by stray cattle as alleged by the accused and, in any case, the moment the cattle had trespassed into the enclosure where the fodder was stocked, the petitioner, if this allegation were correct, would have taken, in ordinary course, proper steps to prevent destruction of the stock entrusted to him. In my opinion, the lower courts were correct in rejecting this explanation which has been put forward by the accused only to save his skin.

4. Lastly, the learned Counsel for the petitioner argued that there is no evidence to show that the accused had sold the fodder to anybody or converted it to his own use. In my opinion, it is neither necessary, nor ordinarily possible for the prosecution to show how the misappropriated property was used. He may have sold it or may have otherwise converted it to his own use. It has to be presumed that he misappropriated it. If anauthorhy is needed on the point, reference may be made to J.M. Desai v. State of Bombay AIR 1960 WC 889 in which their Lordships of the Supreme Court were pleased to observe that to establish a charge of criminal breach of trust, the prosecution is not obliged to prove the precise mode of conversion, misappropriation or misapplication by the accused of the property entrusted to him or over which he had dominion. The principal ingredient of the offence being dishonest misappropriation or conversion which may not ordinarily be a matter of direct proof, entrustment of property and failure in breach of an obligation, to account for the property entrusted, if proved, may in the light of other circumstances, justifiably lead to an inference of dishonest misappropriation or conversion In the present case, the accused had been entrusted with the property in question with specific direction to sell it on behalf of the State and it was his duty to account for the same. But he has been unable to account for it and has rendered an explanation for his failure to account, which is untrue. la these circumstances, it would not be unreasonable to draw an inference of misappropriation with dishonest intention He has, therefore, been rightly convicted under Section 409, IPO The learned Additional Sessions Judge has already reduced the substantive sentence from one year to six months' simple imprisonment and no further leniency is called for.

5. The revision-petition is, therefore, dismissed accused-petitioner is on bail, tits counsel is directed to intimate to him to surrender within a month. In any case, he may be arrested forthwith. In case he is not arrested within a month or does not surrender within the said period, the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jaisalmer, shall submit a report to this Court so that his personal bond and surety bond may be forfaited and proceedings may be taken for recovery of the amount of the bonds.

6. It is needless to point out that the period of imprisonment that the accused may have undergone after conviction and also the period of detention, if any, as an undergone prisoner shall be set off against the sentence awarded to him.


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