17 June 2024


High Court of Allahabad

Inamul Haque and Ors. Vs. State of U.P.




A person cannot be punished twice for the same offence

The instant criminal appeal under Section 374 (2) of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) has been preferred by the Appellants, challenging the judgment of conviction and punishment passed by learned Additional Sessions Judge, whereby the Appellants have been convicted for the offence under Sections 489-B, 489-C of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and sentenced with rigorous imprisonment for life.

The Appellants submitted that, the learned trial Court has wrongly believed the prosecution case, no recovery was made from the possession of the Appellants. No independent witness has been examined on behalf of the prosecution. It is submitted that according to the prosecution version only fake currency notes were recovered from the possession of the Appellants, their use has not been even alleged by the prosecution. Issue for consideration is whether the Appellants could have been punished under Section 489-B as well as under Section 489-C of IPC simultaneously.

The statements of prosecution witnesses indicates that, they have corroborated the offence as narrated in the first information report and are the scribe of the FIR, signed the recovery memo, their departure for patrolling stood corroborated by the report of the general diary, their presence at the relevant place, time and date cannot be doubted upon. During cross-examination no major contradiction had occurred. Merely on the basis of non examination of independent witness, the testimonies of the witnesses cannot be rejected.

From the report of Currency Printing Press, it also stands proved that, the recovered currency notes were counterfeit. From the evidence of the prosecution witnesses, recovery of these fake notes from the possession of the Appellants and report of the Currency Printing Press, it stands proved that, the Appellants were in possession of the counterfeit currency notes, as such, the conviction of the appellants under Section 489-C of IPC has been rightly made by learned trial Court.

It was for the Appellants to explain how they come in possession of counterfeit currency notes and they had no knowledge that those are counterfeit currency notes. The evidence of recovery of counterfeit currency notes from the Appellants as well as their knowledge and their state of mind that, they had the knowledge about fake currency is also established from the evidence on record. It is established beyond doubt that, the Appellants had mens rea to use these counterfeit currency notes as genuine for their financial gains.

The charge against the Appellants under Section 489-B of IPC stands proved beyond reasonable doubt. Since, the Appellants have been convicted and sentenced under Section 489-B of IPC, there was no need to punish them under Section 489-C of IPC. A person cannot be punished twice for the same offence, the sentence awarded to the Appellants under Section 489-C of IPC is set aside.

Regarding sentence part of the impugned judgment, there is no reason to award maximum punishment of imprisonment for life and the appropriate punishment under Section 489-B of IPC shall be the sentence for ten years rigorous imprisonment which would serve the ends of justice.

Tags : Counterfeit currency Possession Conviction Legality

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