MANU/SC/0027/2002

True Court CopyTM EnglishUC

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

Criminal Appeal No. 72 of 2002

Decided On: 16.01.2002

Appellants:State of Karnataka
Vs.
Respondent:M. Devendrappa and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
M.B. Shah, B.N. Agrawal and Dr. Arijit Pasayat

JUDGMENT

Arijit Pasayat, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. Order of learned Single Judge by which proceedings initiated against the respondents in CC. No. 1613/1998 on the file of the CJM, Tumkur, were set aside is subject matter of challenge, in this appeal.

3. Background facts in nutshell essentially are as follows:-

The Inspector of Police, Fraud Squad, COD submitted a charge-sheet against the Respondents (hereinafter referred to as "accused") in the aforesaid case alleging commission of offences punishable under Sections 465 468 471 and 420 read with Section 120-B of Indian Penal Code 1860 (in short 'IPC'). The said charge-sheet was submitted after investigation, on receipt of complaint made by one Police Inspector attached to the Fraud Squad, COD, Bangalore. Cognizance was taken by the CJM. Respondents - accused Nos. 1&2 filed application before the Karnataka High Court under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (in short the 'Code'). They inter alia contended that the allegations made have not been borne out by the materials/evidence collected during investigation and continuance of proceedings against them would be against the ends of justice. Learned single judge noted that the substance of charge-sheet as stated in Form No. 7 was to the effect that for the year 1992-1993 and 1993-1994, the Excise Contractors Ranganatha Group were awarded the contract to act as excise contractors for the Tumkur District. The said Ranganatha Group sub-leased by way of General Power of Attorney (in short 'GPA') to accused No. 1 to act as Excise Contractor of Koratagere of Tumkur District. As a part of the arrangement, the said accused No. 1 M. Devendarappa was required to produce bank guarantee for the whole of Tumkur District at the rate of 1/10th amounting to Rs. 39,06,000/- from Nationalized Bank for the year 1992-1993. Similar was the position for the year 1993-1994 except that the original contractors were Yailappa and Ramachandrappa and the Bank guarantee required to be furnished was for an amount of Rs. 64,29,500/-. Allegations were to the effect that "Letter Heads" of Karnataka Bank Ltd., were removed surreptitiously and with fake seals, fake bank guarantees were typed out on the "Stamp Papers" purchased from "Koratagere Stamp Vendor" and were signed by accused No. 2 posing to be the Manager of Karnataka Bank Ltd., Koratagere Branch. These bank guarantees were submitted as if they were genuine in the office of Deputy Commissioner of Excise, Tumkur. On 17.7.93, accused No. 1 took Excise Sub-Inspector to a house at Ashok Nagar, Tumkur where he introduced accused No. 2 to be the Manager of the ........