1. The appellant has been convicted by the Special Judge, Mahasu, of an offence under Section 5(2), Prevention of Corruption Act, and sentenced to undergo six months' rigorous imprisonment. This appeal was forwarded to this Court through the Superintendent of the jail at Solan. On 2-6-1954, an application was received in the office from the appellant to the effect that he wished to withdraw the appeal. Since the application was sent through post, it was not entertained and was returned to him in accordance with the Rules and Orders of this Court. Once a criminal appeal is filed and admitted, it cannot be withdrawn and has to be disposed of on its merits. I am supported in this view by a Pull Bench ruling of the Lahore High Court, reported in--'Emperor v. Ghulam Mohammad', AIR 1942 Lah 296 (A). There, it was held as follows: 'The Legislature have never contemplated any withdrawal of an appeal once lodged, whether by the accused or by the Crown and once the appeal has been lodged and admitted, it is not in the power of any Court nor in the power of the appellant to allow the appeal to be withdrawn. The Court is bound once the appeal is admitted to proceed under Section 421 or under Sections 422 and 423 to decide the appeal on the merits.'
2. The appellant is not present in Court today despite information. I have heard the learned Government Advocate for the respondent.
3. The facts of the case are that the appellant was employed as Rationing and Evacuee Property Clerk at Solan in 1950. In that capacity, he received sums totalling Rs. 1,216/2/- on behalf of the Government. Instead of depositing them into the treasury, the prosecution case was that the appellant dishonestly misappropriated them. The sum mentioned above consisted of five items, which have been referred to in the charge-sheet. The learned Special Judge held that the offence was established in respect of three items and the offence in respect of the remaining two items was not proved beyond doubt.
The first item consisted of a sum of Rs. 151/2/-, which was received by the appellant from one Rajendra Singh on 27-2-1950. Rajendra Singh was the appellant's predecessor. This sum was paid by Rajendra Singh to the appellant, when ne handed over charge, vide receipt Ex. PK. The appellant, instead of disbursing the amount, received from his predecessor dishonestly misappropriated it. Appellant's plea was that he could not disburse the amount as the payees were out of station. No evidence in support of this plea was, however, adduced, under these circumstances, the Court below was justified in holding the appellant guilty in respect of this item.
4. The next item consisted of a sum of Rs. 50/-, which was paid by one Dwarka Nath (P. W. 2) to the appellant as rent of Moon Cottage, Solan, on 31-3-1950, vide receipt Ex. PB. Appellant's explanation was that the amount was paid not to him but to Sri Prem Raj Mahajan, then Assistant Custodian, and he initialled the receipt under his orders. Prom the statements of Dwarka Nath and P. R. Mahajan, the plea taken by the appellant stands negatived. Under these circumstances, the Court below rightly held the appellant guilty in respect of this item.
5. The third item consisted of a sum of Rs. 125/-, which was paid by Sardar Dewan Singh (P. W. 1) on 8-4-1950 to the appellant as rent of Summer Cottage, Solan, vide receipt Ex. P.A. His plea was that the amount was received by one Chattar Singh, who was working as an Evacuee Clerk on 8-4-1950. From the statement of Sri Prem Raj Mahajan, Assistant Custodian, in whose presence the payment was made to the appellant, it is established that the payment was, in fact, made to the appellant and he issued the receipt Ex. P.A. It is significant that the appellant, when examined under Section 342, Cr. P. C., neither admitted nor denied his initials on the receipt. Under these circumstances, the Court below rightly held that the offence was proved in respect of this item.
6. It is not necessary to discuss the remaining two items because the appellant has been acquitted as far as they are concerned. The joint trial in respect of the five items was not illegal because under Section 222(2), Cr. P. C., when an accused is charged with dishonest misappropriation of money, it would be sufficient to specify the gross sum in respect of which the offence was committed and the dates between which the offence was committed without specifying particular items or exact dates. In the present case, the charge framed against the appellant did mention the gross sum, alleged to have been misappropriated and the dates between which the offence was committed. It is true that at the foot of the charge the five items, making up the total, have been specified but this does not vitiate the charge. In--'Anil Krista Das v. Badam Santra', AIR 1929 Cal 175 (B), it was held that, in view of the provisions of Section 222(2), Cr. P. C., a joint trial involving offences under Section 406, I. P. C., committed on five distinct dates is not bad. At the same time, I feel that in cases like this there should be a separate charge for each item and the trial should be regulated in the manner prescribed in Section 234, Cr. P. C. In the event of conviction, there should have been a separate sentence for each offence.
7. For reasons stated above, I hold that theappellant was rightly convicted. The offence wasa serious one and the sentence of six months'rigorous imprisonment was not, at all, excessive.The appellant has undergone the sentence andthat probably explains why he has not turned uptoday. I reject the appeal.