14 Dec 2021 4:12 AM GMT
In a judgment delivered on Monday ( 13 December 2021), the Supreme Court explained the ingredients necessary to prove a charge under Section 409, 420 and 477A of the Indian Penal Code.The bench comprising CJI NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Hima Kohli made these observations while allowing appeal filed by an accused who was concurrently convicted under Sections 409, 420, and 477A of the Indian...
In a judgment delivered on Monday ( 13 December 2021), the Supreme Court explained the ingredients necessary to prove a charge under Section 409, 420 and 477A of the Indian Penal Code.
The bench comprising CJI NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Hima Kohli made these observations while allowing appeal filed by an accused who was concurrently convicted under Sections 409, 420, and 477A of the Indian Penal Code and Section 13(2) read with Section 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
Section 409 IPC- Criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent.
Section 409 IPC in case of bank officer
Thus, misappropriation with this dishonest intention is one of the most important ingredients of proof of 'criminal breach of trust'. The offence under Section 409 IPC can be committed in varied manners, and as we are concerned with its applicability in the case of a bank officer, it is fruitful to point out that the banker is one who receives money to be drawn out again when the owner has occasion for it. Since the present case involves a conventional bank transaction, it may be further noted that in such situations, the customer is the lender and the bank is the borrower, the latter being under a super added obligation of honouring the customer's cheques up to the amount of the money received and still in the banker's hands. The money that a customer deposits in a bank is not held by the latter on trust for him. It becomes a part of the banker's funds who is under a contractual obligation to pay the sum deposited by a customer to him on demand with the agreed rate of interest. Such a relationship between the customer and the Bank is one of a creditor and a debtor. The Bank is liable to pay money back to the customers when called upon, but until it's called upon to pay it, the Bank is entitled to utilize the money in any manner for earning profit.
Section 420 IPC- Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property
Section 477A- Falsification of accounts
In this case, the accused was charged under the above provisions for allegedly misusing his official position at the Bank and passed three loose cheques in 1994, to withdraw funds from an account despite there being insufficient funds in the said account, and thereby extended an undue advantage to his brother-in-law, a co-accused. The second allegation was that the FDRs were prematurely encashed by him.
Referring to the evidence on record, the bench noted the following: First, no financial loss was caused to the Bank. Second, the record does not indicate that any pecuniary loss was caused to B. Satyajit Reddy or to any other customer of the Bank. Third, the material before us does not disclose any conspiracy between the accused persons. Therefore, it held that none of the acts proved against the accused constitute 'criminal misconduct' or fall under the ambit of Sections 409, 420 and 477-A IPC.
Allowing the appeal, the court held that the prosecution has failed to prove the charges under Sections 409, 420 and 477A IPC against the accused beyond reasonable doubt.
Case name: N. Raghavender vs State of Andhra Pradesh, CBI
Citation: LL 2021 SC 734
Case no. and Date: CrA 5 OF 2010 | 13 December 2021
Coram: CJI NV Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Hima Kohli
Counsel: Sr. Adv Sidharth Luthra, ASG Jayant K. Sud
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