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In Re: Vellai Ocha thevan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in15Ind.Cas.315
AppellantIn Re: Vellai Ocha thevan
Excerpt:
penal code (act xlv of 1860), section 411 - theft of currency notes--possession of accused after 18 months--no presumption of guilty knowledge. - securitisation & reconstruction of financial assets & enforcement of security interest act, 2002 [c.a. no. 54/2002]section 17; power of tribunal to impose condition relating to deposit for grant of stay of auction held, there is no specific provision made under section 17 of securitisation act or under any other provisions of the said act empowering the tribunal to pass any interim order. but under sub-section (12) of section 19 of the recovery of debts due to banks and financial institutions act, 1993, the tribunal has been empowered to pass various interim orders. if sub-section (7) of section 17 of securitisation act is read along with..........is that 18 months after a theft of 29 currency-notes, each of the value of rs. 100, four of the stolen notes were found in the possession of the accused. he did not explain the possession but denied that he had ever had the notes with him.2. the question is whether, under these circumstances, the magistrates were right in convicting him of dishonest retention of stolen property.3. there is no circumstance to suggest that he was the thief and in the case of currency notes, at any rate of those not of large value, it seems to me impossible to hold that possession, a year and a half after the theft, of a few of the stolen notes is by itself evidence, pointing to guilty knowledge on the part of the possessor, i do not find in the judgment of the courts below anything to suggest that the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Miller, J.

1. The evidence in this case is that 18 months after a theft of 29 currency-notes, each of the value of Rs. 100, four of the stolen notes were found in the possession of the accused. He did not explain the possession but denied that he had ever had the notes with him.

2. The question is whether, under these circumstances, the Magistrates were right in convicting him of dishonest retention of stolen property.

3. There is no circumstance to suggest that he was the thief and in the case of currency notes, at any rate of those not of large value, it seems to me impossible to hold that possession, a year and a half after the theft, of a few of the stolen notes is by itself evidence, pointing to guilty knowledge on the part of the possessor, I do not find in the judgment of the Courts below anything to suggest that the accused is not a person who is likely to have had dealings to the amount of Rs. 400 in a single transaction, so as to render suspicious his possession of four notes of Rs. 100, which were all stolen on the same occasion, or any other suspicious circumstance against him,

4. I find then no circumstances stated in the judgment of either Court below which would justify a presumption of guilty knowledge in this case in the absence of an explanation, and consequently the fact that the accused has given a false explanation of his possession is not sufficient to warrant his conviction.

5. I must set aside the conviction. The sentence of imprisonment has already expired. The fine must be refunded, if paid.


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