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SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
DIPAK MISRA, R. BANUMATHI, JJ.
CENTRAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION – Appellant
Versus
MANINDER SINGH – Respondent
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1496 OF 2009
Decided On : 28-08-2015

IMPORTANT POINT
The economic offence of defrauding Bank by forgery - well planned and committed with deliberate design – is fraud against society. Merely paying back the Bank is no ground to quash the proceedings.

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 – Section 482 – Economic offence of defrauding Bank by forgery – Well planned and committed with deliberate design – Fraud against society – Merely paying back the Bank – No ground to quash the proceedings – Misplaced sympathy – High Court ought not quash the proceedings. (Para 12, 14)

       2014 (10) SCALE 690 – Relied upon

       (2009) 6 SCC 364; (2012) 10 SCC 303; (2011) 10 SCC 705 – Referred

       (2008) 9 SCC 677 – Distinguished

       Facts of the case:

       The Respondent and his co-accused defrauded the New Bank (now PNB) to the tune of Rs.10.62 lakhs by forged Bill of Lading.

       They were charged u/s 420, 467, 468 and 471 IPC and Section 5(2) read with Section 5(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947.

       The accused-respondent Maninder Singh was arrested by CBI after four years.

       The accused-respondent challenged the proceedings before High Court u/s 482 CrPC which has been allowed by the High Court.

       Finding of the Court:

       Impugned judgment is not sustainable.

       Result: Appeal allowed.

Act Referred :
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE : S.482
INDIAN PENAL CODE : S.420, S.467, S.468, S.471
PREVENTION OF CORRUPTION ACT : S.5(2), S.5(1)(d)

Cases Referred:
Nikhil Merchant v. CBI, (2008) 9 SCC 677 – Distinguished [Para 3] - Referred By
Rumi Dhar (Smt.) v. State of West Bengal, (2009) 6 SCC 364 – Referred [Para 4] - Referred By
State of Maharashtra through CBI v. Vikram Anantrai Doshi, 2014 (10) SCALE 690 – Relied upon [Para 4] - Referred By
Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, (2012) 10 SCC 303 – Referred [Para 5] - Referred By
Shiji @ Pappu v. Radhika, (2011) 10 SCC 705 – Referred [Para 5] - Referred By

.

CENTRAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION VS MANINDER SINGH

JUDGMENT :

R. BANUMATHI, J.

This appeal is preferred challenging the order of the High Court of Delhi in Crl. M.C. No.2083 of 2006 dated 10.02.2009, in and by which, the High Court exercising its inherent power under Section 482 Cr.P.C. quashed the criminal proceedings in RC No.3 of 1987 under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 IPC read with Section 120-B IPC and all proceedings consequent thereto qua the respondent.

2. Brief facts which led to the filing of this criminal appeal are as under:-The complainant-Chief Vigilance Officer of the New Bank of India (presently ‘Punjab National Bank’ for short ‘PNB’) lodged the complaint alleging that two persons namely Suresh Kumar Puri and Maninder Singh introduced themselves as proprietors of M/s Fashion India and M/s Ronney Exports respectively and opened their current accounts with their branch at Miller Ganj in Ludhiana on 08.11.1986. One Manger namely A.K. Satija of IBD Cell of the New Bank of India at Ludhiana allowed advance amount worth Rs.5.31 lakhs each to these two firms on production of Bill of Lading, GR form and other bills and those foreign bills purchased by the Bank on 27.11.1986 returned unpaid. During the enquiry made by the bank, Bill of Lading presented by the proprietors of the abovesaid two firms were found forged. Manager-A.K. Satija helped Maninder Singh to avail advance upto Rs.10.62 lakhs by opening two different accounts just to ensure that the pecuniary limits allowed may fall under his power; however according to prosecution nature of transactions reveal that parties were one and the same. Respondent and other co-accused thus entered into a criminal conspiracy during the period November-December 1986, with intention to cheat New Bank of India (PNB) to the tune of Rs.10.62 lakhs. On the basis of the above complaint, case was registered under Section 120-B IPC read with Section 420 IPC and Section 5(2) read with Section 5(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 and further substantive offences under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 IPC & Section 5 (2) read with Section 5 (1) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 in Crime No.RC.3/87-SIU(X)/CBI/SPE dated 28.08.1987. After completion of the investigation, a chargesheet was filed on 22.12.1990 in the Court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Tis Hazari Court, Delhi against the accused persons collectively for the offences under Section 120-B IPC read with Section 420 IPC and substantive offences under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 IPC.

3. Noticeably, on 01.02.1995 i.e. after four years the accused-respondent Maninder Singh was arrested by CBI from IGI Airport and the CMM vide order dated 16.09.1995 framed charges against accused respondent Maninder Singh and other accused. In the trial, thirty nine prosecution witnesses were examined. However on 29.01.2005, Maninder Singh arrived at a settlement with the New Bank of India, Ludhiana and on 29.11.2005, the respondent-accused filed an application before the CMM for pleading guilty for the offences alleged, but on the date of hearing i.e. 08.12.2005, the accused respondent Maninder Singh did not appear i

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