Criminal Appeal Nos. 982 of 2001 and 131 of 2002. Case: The State of Maharashtra Vs Shaikh Jafar Abbas and Ors. Bombay High Court

Case Number:Criminal Appeal Nos. 982 of 2001 and 131 of 2002
Party Name:The State of Maharashtra Vs Shaikh Jafar Abbas and Ors
Counsel:For Appellant: Amit Palkar, APP
Judges:Dr. Shalini Phansalkar Joshi, J.
Issue:Railway Property (unlawful Possession) Act, 1966 - Section 3(a)
Judgement Date:May 09, 2017
Court:Bombay High Court
 
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Judgment:

Dr. Shalini Phansalkar Joshi, J.

  1. Both these appeals are preferred by the State against one and the same judgment and order dated 04.06.2001, passed by the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Railway Court, Pune, in R.C.C. No. 70 of 1994. Therefore, they are being decided by this common judgment.

  2. By Criminal Appeal No. 982 of 2001, State is challenging acquittal of the respondents for the offence punishable under Section 3(a) of the Railway Property (Unlawfully Possession) Act, 1966(for short called as, "R.P. U.P. Act"); whereas Criminal Appeal No. 131 of 2002 is preferred by State seeking enhancement of sentence awarded to accused No. 4.

  3. Brief facts of the appeals can be stated as follows:-

    "On 12.2.1994, while P.W.1 R.P.F. Naik- Jamdade was on duty alongwith his colleague P.W.19 Sonawane, and two others, at about 6.55 p.m. at Bit No. 5/5, they found 20 to 25 persons loading in one truck iron articles i.e. OHE Poles called as "structures" belonging to the railway property. On enquiry, these persons failed to give satisfactory explanation. Out of them, respondent No. 1 Shaikh Jafar and respondent No. 3 Gopinath Acharya, were from the railway staff and on enquiries with them, they informed P.W.1 RPF Naik Jamdade that they were shifting these railway structures from Lonawala Railway Yard to Kurla Railway Yard where railway work was in progress. P.W.1 RPF Nayak - Jamdade, was however, not satisfied with the explanation and therefore, he produced the said truck and respondent No. 1 Shaikh Jafar and respondent No. 3 Gopinath Acharya before P.W.2 RPF Inspector - Rajkumar Agnihotri."

  4. P.W. 2 Agnihotri then made enquiry about ownership of three structures which were loaded in the said truck bearing No. MH-14/4220. He also found that respondent No. 2 Ganpat, who was alongwith other persons loading the truck on the spot, was unable to give satisfactory explanation. On further enquiries with them, he was found that respondent Nos. 4 Bijendra Mehata and 5 Keval Sharma, who were also serving in railway, in collusion with other respondents, were helping Accused No. 4, who was subsequently convicted in this case, in carrying out these structures from the spot of Lonawala Railway yard to Kurla where another work was going on and claiming double payment. In the course of investigation, at the instance of accused No. 4, some more structures belonging to railway, totally 19 in number came to be seized under panchnama. It was also transpired that the wife of respondent No. 2 Ganpat Mehata and wife of respondent No. 3 Gopinath Acharya had received cheques of...

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