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CENTRAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. versus BALDEV RAJ SHARMA.

High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh

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Central Bureau of Investigation. v. Baldev Raj Sharma. - CRM-522-MA-2006 [2007] RD-P&H 235 (11 January 2007)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH.

Criminal Misc. No.57108 of 2006 &

Criminal Misc. No.522-MA of 2006

Date of decision: 16.01.2007

Central Bureau of Investigation.

-----Appellant.

Vs.

Baldev Raj Sharma.

-----Respondents.

CORAM:- HON'BLE MR JUSTICE ADARSH KUMAR GOEL
HON'BLE MR JUSTICE H.S. BHALLA

Present: Mr. Rajan Gupta, Advocate

for the appellant.

-----

Adarsh Kumar Goel, J.

Delay condoned.

Heard on merits.

This application has been filed for leave to appeal to challenge acquittal of the respondent of the charges under Sections 120-B IPC read with Sections 420, 467, 471 IPC.

Case of the prosecution is that Punjab National Bank, Chandigarh was cheated by a group of persons headed by V.P. Anand (since deceased) by floating three fictitious firms, of which, one belonged to the respondent-accused.

The said firms in conspiracy with one Ajay Aggarwal opened Foreign Letters of Credit in favour of M/s Sales International, Dubai for importing steel items under open general licence. No material was shipped by M/s Sales International, but payment against Foreign Letters of Credit was made on the basis of false and forged shipping documents. Out of the five persons, originally named, V.P. Anand died during trial, Ajay Aggarwal and Ranjit Marwaha were acquitted and Bansi Lal Criminal Misc. No.57108 of 2006 &

Criminal Misc. No.522-MA of 2006

and Baldev Raj Sharma, resondent were convicted. Bansi Lal absented himself and only Baldev Raj Sharma was sentenced by the trial Court.

Defence of the respondent was that he was a semi-illiterate person and taking advantage of his position, accused V.P. Anand got his signatures on the bank papers and other documents and he did not derive any benefit. He was salaried employee of V.P. Anand, accused.

On appeal of the respondent, against his conviction by the trial Court, the Court of Sessions held conviction of the petitioner to be unwarranted. It was observed that the trial Court having recorded a finding in para 34 to the effect that the respondent was merely an employee of V.P. Anand, finding to the effect that he was in conspiracy with V.P. Anand, was not called for in absence of any mens rea of the respondent. There was no material to show that the respondent derived any benefit. It was held that finding of conspiracy was perverse and was not based on any material. The respondent had opened Foreign Letters of Credit on the basis of genuine documents and was not responsible for payments made against fake documents.

We have heard learned counsel for the petitioner and perused the record.

The finding that the respondent was merely an employee of V.P.

Anand and did not derive any benefit is not shown to be perverse in any manner.

In view of this finding, no ground is made out for interference with the order of acquittal.

The application for leave to appeal is dismissed.

( ADARSH KUMAR GOEL )

JUDGE

January 16, 2007 ( H.S. BHALLA )

ashwani JUDGE

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Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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