HC acquits banker from charges of embezzlement

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, July 25: High Court acquitted a bank employee from charges of misappropriation of public money citing that the prosecution has failed to prove the evidence against the accused for commission of offence.
Justice Mohan Lal has acquitted the accused Bishan Das from the charges of commission of offence under section 409 of Ranbir Penal Code with a view that the prosecution has miserably failed to prove the guilt of the convict beyond reasonable doubt for commission of offence u/s 409 RPC.
Petitioner Das working as cashier in J&K Bank was convicted by the trial court in 2020 for commission of offence punishable u/s 409 RPC and sentenced him to undergo simple imprisonment for the period of two years and a fine of Rs.2000, and in default of payment of fine, he was ordered to further undergo simple imprisonment for a period of six months
Justice Lal set aside the verdict of trial court by observing that the same is based on surmises, assumptions and presumptions which is unsustainable in the eyes of law and as such cleanly acquitted him of the charges levelled against him. “He shall stand discharged from his bail and personal bonds. Seized case property if any shall be released in favour of concerned department/bank”, Court said.
Court during the arguments was informed that the prosecution has convincingly proved that the petitioner on 15.11.1989 received Rs.27136 and Rs. 16601 on 12.04.1991 from the account holder and did not credit the said amount into the account and instead dishonestly misappropriated the same, thus, the charge for the offence under Section 409 RPC is proved against the convict beyond any reasonable doubt as such he has been rightly convicted by the trial court for the commission of said offence.
Court said the deposition of prosecution witness clearly demonstrates that there is delay of almost 2 years or at least 5 months in lodging FIR against petitioner-convict and the same has remained unexplained by the prosecution.
“Inordinate and unexplained delay  in lodging FIR against petitioner-convict has quite often resulted in embellishment which is creature of afterthought, whereby, the FIR not only gets bereft of the advantage of spontaneity but danger creeps in of introduction of coloured version, concocted story as a result of consultation and deliberation which has demolished the very edifice of the creditworthiness/reliability of the prosecution case”, Justice Lal recorded.
Court has surprised that the basis of audit and reconciliation report on which FIR was registered against petitioner-convict has not been filed before the trial court, and moreso, the person who prepared the audit cum reconciliation report for the year 1989-90 has not been cited as prosecution witness in the charge sheet.