Section 120B, 467, 467 read with 471 IPC The allegation against appellant(T. Maran) and appellant(M. Ramalingam­A2 in CC No. 03/1995) was that A2 (M. Ramalingam) along with A1 (T. Maran, Branch Manager) and Nagarajan(since deceased) conspired together so as to cheat the bank to the extent of Rs. 7000/­ without pledging the jewel. A2 (M. Ramalingam) applied for the jewel loan and the same was sanctioned by A1 (T. Maran) by making false entries in the jewel loan movement register(Exhibit P­4), as if the jewel was pledged by A2 (M. Ramalingam) but in fact there was no entry in the register thereby caused wrongful loss to the bank and wrongful gain for themselves. As per the jewel register, the jewel as shown to be pledged by A2 (M. Ramalingam) is pertaining to other loanee Sri Muthuramalingham(PW­9) (loan dated 12th November, 5 1981) and he closed his loan account (AJL No. 45/81 on 26th March, 1988) and the jewel pledged by him was not returned to him which were kept as lien. The register shows that bank had not obtained any jewel in support of loan AJL 78/89 by A2 (M. Ramalingam) and there was no entry for AJL 78/89 and in between 75/89 and 80/89, one entry has not been done.= so far as appellant M. Ramalingam(A2 in CC No. 03/1995) and appellant N. Rajangam(A2 in CC No. 05/1995) is concerned, there was no evidence on record which could at all connect them for the offences under Section 120B and 420 IPC(appellant M. Ramalingam) and Section 120B, 467, 467 read with 471 IPC(appellant N. Rajangam) and it was not the case of the prosecution that the loanee A2(N. Ramalingam and N. Rajangam) were ever aware of this fact that such a loan could be sanctioned only after a jewel being pledged. In all bonafides, it reveals from the record that applications were submitted by the loanee who are illiterate agriculturists and loan was got sanctioned by the appellant T. Maran(A1­Bank Manager) with the connivance of the Nagrajan(deceased) in violating the rules and regulations for their personal gains. We are not able to trace out any evidence in respect of dishonesty/misuse in obtaining loan without furnishing any security.In our view the prosecution has failed to prove beyond reasonabledoubt the charges levelled against the appellant(M. Ramalingam and N. Rajangam) in Criminal Appeal No. No. 1949 of 2009 and Criminal Appeal 347 of 2010 and, the conviction of appellant M. Ramalingamunder Section 120B and 420 IPC and appellant N. Rajangam underSection 120B, 467 read with 471 IPC deserves to be set aside.

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NON­REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO(S). 1949 OF 2009
M. RAMALINGAM ..APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
STATE REPRESENTED BY
INSPECTOR OF POLICE
SBE/CBI/ACB, MADRAS .RESPONDENT(S)
WITH
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO(S). 2186­2188 OF 2009
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO(S). 347 OF 2010
J U D G M E N T
Rastogi, J.

  1. The instant appeals arise from the common judgment dated 21st
    July, 2009 passed by the High Court of Judicature at Madras
    upholding the conviction of the appellant T. Maran (accused no. 1) for
    offences under Section 120B, 467, 467 read with 471, 420, 477­A IPC
    and Section 13(2) read with Section 13(1)(d) of Prevention of
    Corruption Act, 1988 and sentenced to undergo rigorous
    imprisonment for two years and also to pay a fine of Rs. 1,000/­ in all
    the three cases and the sentence was directed to run concurrently.
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    Appellant M. Ramalingam (accused no. 2 in CC no. 03/1995) was
    convicted under Section 120B and 420 IPC and sentenced to undergo
    rigorous imprisonment for two years and also to pay a fine of Rs.
    1,000/­ in default to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 6 months for
    each of the offences and appellant N. Rajangam(accused no. 2 in CC
    no. 05/1995) was convicted under Section 120B, 467 read with 471
    IPC and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for two years
    and also to pay a fine of Rs. 1,000/­ in default to undergo rigorous
    imprisonment for 6 months for each of the offences.
  2. The brief facts of the case are that T.Maran(A1) in all the three
    cases was the Branch Manager in the Indian Overseas Bank (IOB),
    Narikudi from 4th May, 1988 to 28th January, 1991. Accused no. 1(T.
    Maran) along with one Nagrajan(A2 in CC No. 04/1995) (who was the
    clerk­cum­typist died after filing of the charge­sheets) were the
    custodian of the jewel safe of the Branch. Three separate criminal
    cases CC No. 03/1995, 04/1995 and 05/1995 were filed against him
    and the allegation was that appellant(T.Maran­A1) sanctioned
    agricultural jewel loan of Rs. 7,000/­ in favour of M. Ramalingam(A2
    in CC No. 03/1995) in AJL No. 78/89. It was alleged that the jewels
    deposited in AJL No. 45/81 had been used by A1 (T. Maran) for the
    purpose of advancing loan AJL No. 78/89 to M. Ramalingam(appellant
    3
    in Criminal Appeal No. 1949 of 2009). For that purpose, account no.
    AJL 45/81 was opened on 12th November, 1981 and closed on 26th
    March, 1988.
  3. In a different transaction, Appellant T. Maran (A1) sanctioned
    jewel loan of Rs. 7,100/­ to one Nagarajan(A2 in CC No. 04/1995­
    since deceased) in JL No. 49/90. The allegation was that the jewel
    deposited in JL No. 50/90 had been altered to JL No. 49/90 and the
    same was used for advancing loan to Nagarajan(deceased). JL 50/90
    was opened on 24th March, 1990 and closed on 1st June, 1990.
  4. Yet in another separate transaction, appellant (T. Maran­ A1)
    sanctioned agricultural jewel loan of Rs. 10,000/­ to one Rajangam
    (A2 in CC No. 05/1995) in AJL NO. 123/90. The allegation was that
    the jewel deposited in AJL No 372/87 had been used for the purpose
    of advancing the loan AJL No. 123/90 of Rajangam. AJL No. 372/87
    was opened on 10th November, 1987 and closed on 28th January,
    1988.
  5. It was unearthed when appellant(T. Maran­A1) went on leave
    from 4th October, 1990 to 6th October, 1990. PW­2 (Krishnamoorthy)
    became in­charge and found certain discrepancies and informed the
    same to the Chief Zonal Officer. The Vigilance Officer was deputed to
    4
    enquire into the loan accounts who, after enquiry, found serious
    irregularities and thereafter three separate FIR were registered and
    finally the charges were framed in each of them against appellant T.
    Maran(A1) who was charged under Section 120B, 467, 467 read with
    471, 420, 477­A IPC and Section 13(2) read with Section 13(1)(d) of
    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and accused M. Ramalingam(A2 in
    CC No. 03/1995 was charged under Section 120B, 420 IPC and
    accused N. Rajangam(A2 in CC No. 05/1995) was charged under
    Section 120B, 467 read with 471 IPC.
  6. The allegation against appellant(T. Maran) and appellant(M.
    Ramalingam­A2 in CC No. 03/1995) was that A2 (M. Ramalingam)
    along with A1 (T. Maran, Branch Manager) and Nagarajan(since
    deceased) conspired together so as to cheat the bank to the extent of
    Rs. 7000/­ without pledging the jewel. A2 (M. Ramalingam) applied
    for the jewel loan and the same was sanctioned by A1 (T. Maran) by
    making false entries in the jewel loan movement register(Exhibit P­4),
    as if the jewel was pledged by A2 (M. Ramalingam) but in fact there
    was no entry in the register thereby caused wrongful loss to the bank
    and wrongful gain for themselves. As per the jewel register, the jewel
    as shown to be pledged by A2 (M. Ramalingam) is pertaining to other
    loanee Sri Muthuramalingham(PW­9) (loan dated 12th November,
    5
    1981) and he closed his loan account (AJL No. 45/81 on 26th March,
    1988) and the jewel pledged by him was not returned to him which
    were kept as lien. The register shows that bank had not obtained any
    jewel in support of loan AJL 78/89 by A2 (M. Ramalingam) and there
    was no entry for AJL 78/89 and in between 75/89 and 80/89, one
    entry has not been done.
  7. The allegation against appellant(T. Maran) and A2 Nagrajan(clerk
    who died after filing of the charge­sheet) in CC No. 04/1995 was that
    appellant T. Maran(A1) entered in conspiracy to cheat the bank.
    Further that A2(Nagarajan­deceased) on 24th March, 1990 applied for
    the jewel loan for a sum of Rs. 7,100/­ and the same was sanctioned
    by A1 (T. Maran) in JL No. 49/90. There is no entry of 24th March,
    1990 in the jewel loan movement register(Exhibit P­5) for the said
    jewel loan but there is entry with regard to a jewel loan no. 50/90
    obtained by one ‘Irulan’ (his jewel application­Exhibit P4) and that
    subsequently jewel loan no. 50/90 had been altered to JL No. 49/90
    to show that the jewel was pledged for the JL No. 49/90. JL No.
    50/90 to ‘Irulan’ was sanctioned on the same date, i.e. 24th March,
    1990 and curious enough, JL No. 50/90 was closed as the loanee
    ‘Irulan’ redeemed the jewel and there is entry in the jewel movement
    register of 1st June, 1990 to that effect.
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  8. In yet another transaction which is separately registered CC No.
    05/1995, allegation was that A2 (N. Rajangam) along with appellant(T.
    Maran­branch manager A1) and Nagrajan(clerk who died after filing of
    the charge­sheet) have conspired so as to cheat the bank to the extent
    of Rs. 10,000/­ without pledging the jewel. The allegation was that on
    30th August, 1990, A2(N. Rajangam) applied for jewel loan for Rs.
    10,000/­ without pledging the jewel. A1 (T. Maran) sanctioned the
    loan and the jewels alleged to have been pledged were not appraised
    by bank appraiser and further there was no entry in the jewel loan
    movement register (Exhibit P­4) with regard to AJL Nos. 123 and 124
    of 1990 but whereas on 28th August, 1990 an entry was made with
    regard to jewel loan no. 122 of 1990 and on 4th September, 1990,
    another entry was made with regard to jewel loan no. 125 of 1990. It
    was alleged that jewels in AJL No. 123 of 1990 were not tallied with
    the weight as the available chain weight was only 17.5 grams and not
    64 grams as stated in the loan application of A2(N. Rajangam) and the
    said jewel pertained to one ‘A. Karuppannan’ who pledged the jewel on
    10th November, 1987 under the jewel loan no. 372/87 and received the
    loan of Rs. 2,000/­ and the loan account was closed by him on 28th
    January, 1988 but the jewel was not returned to him as the same was
    kept as lien over the bullock cart loan 8/84.
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  9. It is to be noticed that apart from the criminal case, both the
    employees faced departmental enquiry and after being held guilty,
    appellant(T. Maran­A1) was dismissed from service on 8th July, 1992.
  10. That during the course of trial the statements of PW­2(Officer,
    Indian Overseas Bank, Regional Office, Madurai), PW­3(Officer,
    Vigilance, Indian Overseas Bank), PW­4(Cashier, Indian Overseas
    Bank, Narikkudi), PW­5(Chief Officer, Zonal Office), PW­6(Special
    Assistant, Indian Overseas Bank, Narikkudi) and PW­8(Mr.
    Jayprakash, the legal heir of the loanee Karuppannan) were recorded
    in support of the case of the prosecution and the learned trial Judge
    conducted simultaneous trial of all the three cases 03/1995, 04/1995
    and 05/1995 and held appellant(T. Maran) guilty and convicted him
    under Section 120B, 467, 467 read with 471, 420, 477­A IPC and
    Section 13(2) read with Section 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption
    Act, 1988 and sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for
    two years and also to pay a fine of Rs. 1,000/­ in default to undergo
    rigorous imprisonment for six months for each of the offences and
    sentence to run concurrently.
  11. At the same time appellant M. Ramalingam(A2 in CC no.
    03/1995) was convicted under Section 120B and 420 IPC and
    8
    appellant N. Rajangam(A2 in CC no. 05/1995) was convicted under
    Section 120B, 467 read with 471 IPC and sentenced to undergo
    rigorous imprisonment for two years and also to pay a fine of Rs.
    1,000/­ in default to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 6 months for
    each of the offences.
  12. The High Court also on appraisal found no infirmity in the
    findings recorded by the trial Judge holding the appellants guilty for
    the aforesaid offences and proceeded on the indisputed facts which
    came on record that appellant T. Maran(A1) was the Branch Manager
    from 4th May, 1988 to 28th January, 1991 and Nagarajan, since
    deceased, being shroff during that period were joint custodians of
    jewel safe of the branch, that one Karuppannan availed jewel loan
    372/87 and the account was closed on 28th January, 1988 on his
    repayment, that when appellant T. Maran(A1) went on leave from 4th
    October, 1990 to 6th October, 1990, PW­2 Krishnamoorthy was
    deputed in his place and also appraised the evidence of PW­3
    Vigilance Officer of the Bank who inspected physically all the jewel
    with the pending loan accounts and on physical verification, he found
    only one jewel namely gold chain weighing 17.5 grams available in the
    pocket relating to AJL 123/90 instead of 10 items of jewels and the
    one jewel also was pertaining to the jewel loan 372/87. The High
    9
    Court also took note of the statement of PW­4 (S.A. Soosai Prakasam,
    Cashier, IOB, Narikkudi), PW­6(P. Ponnuchamy, Spl. Assistant, IOB,
    Narikudi), PW­8 (Mr. Jayprakash, the legal heir of the loanee
    Karuppannan) and found no infirmity in the finding recorded by the
    learned trial Judge under the impugned judgment and accordingly
    confirmed the conviction and sentence of the accused appellants and
    held that the appellant(T. Maran­A1) being the public servant by
    abusing position and by illegal means dishonestly misused the public
    money and got the amount sanctioned without furnishing any
    security. Thus, charges framed against the accused appellants have
    been held to be proved beyond reasonable doubt and accordingly
    confirmed the conviction and sentenced passed by the trial Court
    under the impugned judgment.
  13. We have heard learned counsel for the parties and with their
    assistance perused the material available on record.
  14. As regards the appellant(T. Maran­A1) is concerned, there is
    sufficient evidence on record which has been examined by the trial
    Judge and so also appraised by the High Court and nothing has been
    elicit from the submissions made by learned counsel for the appellant
    and on appraisal of the evidence which has come on record and after
    going through the impugned judgment of the case, we find no
    10
    apparent error being committed by the High Court in upholding
    conviction of the accused appellant(T. Maran) for the offences under
    Section 467, 467 read with 471, 420, 477­A IPC and Section 13(2)
    read with Section 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
  15. At the same time so far as appellant M. Ramalingam(A2 in CC
    No. 03/1995) and appellant N. Rajangam(A2 in CC No. 05/1995) is
    concerned, there was no evidence on record which could at all connect
    them for the offences under Section 120B and 420 IPC(appellant M.
    Ramalingam) and Section 120B, 467, 467 read with 471 IPC(appellant
    N. Rajangam) and it was not the case of the prosecution that the
    loanee A2(N. Ramalingam and N. Rajangam) were ever aware of this
    fact that such a loan could be sanctioned only after a jewel being
    pledged. In all bonafides, it reveals from the record that applications
    were submitted by the loanee who are illiterate agriculturists and loan
    was got sanctioned by the appellant T. Maran(A1­Bank Manager) with
    the connivance of the Nagrajan(deceased) in violating the rules and
    regulations for their personal gains.
  16. We are not able to trace out any evidence in respect of
    dishonesty/misuse in obtaining loan without furnishing any security.
    In our view the prosecution has failed to prove beyond reasonable
    doubt the charges levelled against the appellant(M. Ramalingam and
    11
    N. Rajangam) in Criminal Appeal No. No. 1949 of 2009 and Criminal
    Appeal 347 of 2010 and, the conviction of appellant M. Ramalingam
    under Section 120B and 420 IPC and appellant N. Rajangam under
    Section 120B, 467 read with 471 IPC deserves to be set aside.
  17. Consequently, Criminal Appeal No. 1949 of 2009 filed by M.
    Ramalingam and Criminal Appeal No. 347 of 2010 filed by N.
    Rajangam are allowed. The impugned judgment qua the appellants is
    hereby set aside and since both are on bail, their bail bonds be
    discharged.
  18. At the same time, Criminal Appeal Nos. 2186­2188 of 2009 filed
    by appellant T. Maran (A1) are hereby dismissed. The appellant T.
    Maran was granted bail on 9th April, 2010. His bail bonds are
    cancelled and he is directed to surrender and undergo remaining part
    of the sentence.
  19. Pending application(s), if any, stand disposed of.
    ……………………………………..J.
    (N. V. RAMANA)
    ………………………………………J.
    (AJAY RASTOGI)
    NEW DELHI
    OCTOBER 03, 2019
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