Skip to content


M. Kuppuswami Chettiar Vs. State - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1970CriLJ431
AppellantM. Kuppuswami Chettiar
RespondentState
Cases ReferredCrown Prosecutor v. Copal
Excerpt:
- - 1. he had also falsely endorsed in his own handwriting that those thumb impressions were the impressions of p. 'one could see the above are characteristics well known to finger print science'.he finally holds that the thumb impressions in question should have been made by the petitioner and he seeks corroboration from the evidence of p. 2 and 4 about which the learned judge has mentioned, it is not safe to act on the testimony of p. although it is a matter of appreciation of evidence purely, i would like to deal with the evidence in a brief summary......mudali and in that application affixed his left hand thumb impression as though it is the thumb impression of munsif chinnappa mudali and then further in the solvency certificate relating thereto namely, ex. p. 7, he had affixed his own thumb impression as though it was the thumb impression of chinnappa mudali, p. w. 1. he had also falsely endorsed in his own handwriting that those thumb impressions were the impressions of p. w. 1. the petitioner after getting the funds from the co-operative central bank, showed a false disbursement in favour of p. w. 1 by himself falsely affixing the left hand thumb impression of p. w. 1 in exs. a 16 and a 17 which are the loan disbursement sheet and a copy thereof dated 27-9-1961. in doing so, ' the petitioner has dishonestly misappropriated a.....
Judgment:
ORDER

K.N. Mudaliyar, J.

1. The substance of the prosecution is that the petitioner himself using his position as President and Treasurer of the society had made false entry in the consolidated loan application dated 2-9-1961, Ex. P. 8. as though a loan for Rs. 500 had been applied for by one Munsif Chin-nappa Mudali and in that application affixed his left hand thumb impression as though it is the thumb impression of Munsif Chinnappa Mudali and then further in the solvency certificate relating thereto namely, Ex. P. 7, he had affixed his own thumb impression as though it was the thumb impression of Chinnappa Mudali, P. W. 1. He had also falsely endorsed in his own handwriting that those thumb impressions were the impressions of P. W. 1. The petitioner after getting the funds from the Co-operative Central Bank, showed a false disbursement in favour of P. W. 1 by himself falsely affixing the left hand thumb impression of P. W. 1 in Exs. A 16 and A 17 which are the loan disbursement sheet and a copy thereof dated 27-9-1961. In doing so, ' the petitioner has dishonestly misappropriated a sum of Rs. 500 for which he has falsely applied in the name of P. W. 1, thereby the petitioner has committed various offences punishable under as. 467, 471, 477-A and 409 I. P. C.

2. The appellate Sessions Judge exercised great caution in appreciating the evidence of P. Ws. 2 and 4 the supervisor and the Secretary respectively of the said Bank and ultimately acted on their evidence for, the learned Judge found cor-roboration from the other evidence in the case. It is true that the learned Sessions Judge has given the findings that it is very difficult for him, putting two and two together to swallow the stand taken toy P. Ws. 2 and 4. The learned Judge further observes that if any weight is to be given to their version it either shows gross negligence; or dereliction of duty on their part; or, some complicity in the fraud itself along with the petitioner or with others. The learned Judge, as observed earlier, has sought to find corro-'borative evidence in support of the evidence of P. Ws. 2 and 4. The learned Judge also states that P. W. 3 also identi-fied the handwriting of the petitioner in Exs. P. 7, P. 8, P. 16 and P. 17, as against the alleged thumb impressions of P. W. 1. The Secretary, P. W. 4 would submit that he had signed Ex. P. 7, P. 8, P. 16 and P. 17, but he did not witness P. W. 1 affixing his thumb impression. The President asked him to sign and so he signed. P. W. 4 also identified the handwriting of the petitioner as against the alleged thumb impressions of P. W. 1 in Exs. P. 7, P. 8, P. 16 and P. 17. The learned Judge, while dealing with the evidence of P. W. 13, the finger print expert, ultimately finds that the ten points of tallying given by the finger print expert in support are there. 'One could see the above are characteristics well known to finger print science'. He finally holds that the thumb impressions in question should have been made by the petitioner and he seeks corroboration from the evidence of P. W. 1 and also from P. Ws. 2, 3, 4. Learned Sesions Judge had no hesitation in accepting the evidence of P. W. 3 who stated that the endorsements around these disputed thumb impressions are in the handwriting of the petitioner himself. On these findings, the learned Sessions Judge confirmed the convictions and sentences passed under Sections 467, 471, 477-A and 409, I. P. C.

3. Mr. Vanamamalai urged before me that in view of the probable complicity of P. Ws. 2 and 4 about which the learned Judge has mentioned, it is not safe to act on the testimony of P. Ws. 2 and 4 and the remaining evidence may not be sufficient to sustain the conviction. Although it is a matter of appreciation of evidence purely, I would like to deal with the evidence in a brief summary. P. W. 1 states that he did not put thumb impression on any application for loan or any paper 41/2 years back. Certainly not on the disputed documents in question. There was no attack made on the acceptability of the evidence of P. W. 1. So far P. W. 2 is concerned, I have noticed the evidence of P.W. 2 to the following effect: 'Ex. P. 7 is the solvency certificate relating to P.W, 1. The petitioner has signed it. The petitioner has written adjacent to the thumb impression 'Munsif Chinnappa Mudali' in Tamil. The petitioner has signed Ex. P. 7 as President. Ex. P. 8 is consolidated loan application dated 19-9-1961. The petitioner has signed it as President. In this application one of the items is alleged to be that of P. W. 1. 'L. T. I. of Munsif Chinnappa Mudali'. I have not seen P. W. 1 putting his thumb impression to any of the documents'. His further evidence is that he did not sign Ex. P. 17. Only the petitioner, P. W. 4, and the Panchayatdars have signed Exs. P. 16 and P. 17. The scoring and writing adjacent to the thumb impression in Ex. P. 17 is that of the petitioner.

Mr. Vanamamalai argues that the witness ought not to be believed in view of his testimony in cross-examination to the effect that P. W. 2 did not see the petitioner describe the thumb impression in Exs. P. 16 and P. 17 and he did not see the petitioner writing Exs. P. 7 and P. 8, and that A-l writes the minutes book, I am not able to accept the argument of the counsel for the petitioner in view of the further important piece of evidence of P.W. 2 that he knew the handwriting of the petitioner. P.W. 4's evidence is that he knew the handwriting and signature of the President (A-l, petitioner) and that the petitioner (accused) has described the thumb impression as that of Chinnappa Mudali and signed in Exs. P. 7, P. 8, P. 16 and P. 17. The criticism of the learned Counsel for the petitioner is that in view of the material in cross-examination of P. W. 4, his evidence ought not to be believed. The material portion of the evidence of P. W. 4 is that he did not see the petitioner (accused) writing the name of P. W. 1 in Exs. P. 7, P. 8, P. 16 and P. 17. He had not seen the documents or letters written by him. He knew his handwriting. He cannot compare handwriting any say whether they tally. This evidence is not of such sufficient strength that one is inclined to disbelieve the evidence of P. W. 4. We are left with the evidence of P.W. 3 who says that he knew the accused for the past 25 years. The accused petitioner was his neighbour. This witness knew the signature and handwriting of the petitioner. In Ex. P. 7, the accused has signed and he has also written the description of the L. T. I. In Ex. P. 8, the accused has described the thumb impression. In Exs, P. 16 and P. 17, the accused has written the description of the thumb impression and signed. He cannot identify the signatures and handwriting. In his cross examination, he states that he did not see the accused writing the portions which he says are in his hand writing. He has not seen him write documents or letters but he states significantly that he knew his handwriting. This evidence of P. W. 3 has been accepted by both the courts below. I see no ground to disbelieve his evidence also. On the evidence of P. Ws. 1, 2, 3 and 4 alone, the convictions can safely stand. But the learned Judge sought to use the corroborative evidence of the finger print expert, P. W. 13. Assuming I ignore the evidence of P. W. 13. I am still of the view that the convictions are unimpeachable on the evidence of P. Ws. 1 to 4 alone. In view of this finding, I need not elaborately deal with the validity of the acceptance of the evidence of the finger print expert. The learned Judge has given very sound reasons for accepting it. The only criticism made by Mr. Vanamamalai was that in view of the principle laid down in the decision of Horwill, J., in Crown Prosecutor v. Copal AIR 1941 Mad 551, the expert had no opportunity of explaining to the Magistrate regarding the ten points of identity and therefore, there is no satisfactory proof that the writings in Exs. P. 7, P. 8, P. 16 and P. 17 are those of the accused. In my view the facts governing the case decided by Horwill J. constituted only one single piece of evidence bereft of other evidence for basing a conviction. Therefore, the learned Judge thought fit to express that the opinion of the expert based on eleven points of identity must have been explained to the magistrate. I think that, this decision is of no material assistance to the counsel for the petitioner in view of my acceptance of the evidence of P. Ws. 1 to 4.

4. The counsel fervently urged before me that the sentence of imprisonment awarded against the petitioner may be reduced to the period already undergone for the reasons (1) that he is a first offender, (2) that he is likely to be weeded out of the Co-operative institution and (3) that he is a pretty old man of 62 or ' 63 years nearly. I take these factors into consideration and I am inclined to hold that the ends of justice will be met by reducing the sentence of imprisonment to the period already undergone by him. The sentence of fine is however enhanced to Rs. 1000 in the place of Rs. 750. Time for payment is two months. With this modification regarding the sentence, the revision petition is dismissed.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //