Tuesday, May 9, 2017

State of Jharkhand through sp, CBI v/s. lalu prasad @ lalu prasad Yadav MAY 08, 2017

R e p o r t a b l e

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA


                       CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.394 OF 2017

State of jharkhaND through sp, cbi           …Appellant


lalu prasad @ lalu prasad Yadav              …Respondent


                       CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.393 OF 2017

State of jharkhaND through s.p., cbi         …Appellant


Sajal chakrabortY                                  …Respondent


                       CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.395 OF 2017

State of jharkhaND through sp, cbi           …Appellant


dr. jagannath mishra                                     …Respondent

                               J U D G M E N T


1.    The appeals arise out  of  three  separate  judgments  and  orders  of
learned Single Judge of High Court of Jharkhand at Ranchi discharging  three
accused persons  namely;  Lalu  Prasad  Yadav,  Sajal  Chakraborty  and  Dr.
Jagannath Mishra on the ground of their conviction in one  of  the  criminal
cases arising out of fodder scam of erstwhile State of Bihar.  Applying  the
provision under Article 20(2) of the Constitution of India and  Section  300
of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (for short ‘the Cr.PC’), the High  Court
has quashed RC No.64A/96 against Lalu Prasad Yadav, four cases  against  Dr.
Jagannath Mishra being RC Nos.64A/96, 47A/96,  68A/96  and  38A/96  and  two
cases against Sajal Chakraborty  being  RC  Nos.20A/96  and  68A/96  on  the
ground that they have been convicted  in  one  of  the  cases  for  offences
involving the same ingredients with respect to Chaibasa treasury.

2.    In the wake of large scale defalcation  of  public  funds,  fraudulent
transactions and fabrication of accounts in Animal Husbandry  Department  of
State  of  Bihar  popularly  known  as  fodder  scam,  Central   Bureau   of
Investigation (for short, ‘the CBI’) investigation had been ordered by  this
Court in State of Bihar & Anr. v. Ranchi Zila Samta Party &  Anr.  (1996)  3
SCC 682 to investigate corruption in public  administration,  misconduct  by
the  bureaucracy,  fabrication  of  official  records,  misappropriation  of
public funds by an  independent  agency.  This  Court  directed  CBI  to  do
investigation and inform the Chief Justice of Patna High Court. On  the  re-
orgnisation of the State of Bihar by virtue of  Bihar  Re-organisation  Act,
2000, States of  Bihar  and  Jharkhand  were  formed.  Question  arose  with
respect to the place of trial of cases i.e. whether in  State  of  Bihar  or
State of Jharkhand. A Full Bench of High Court of Patna took the  view  that
none of  the  36  cases  which  were  of  Jharkhand  to  be  transferred  to
Jharkhand. CBI preferred appeals before this  Court  as  well  as  Dr.  R.K.
Rana. Total 64 cases had been registered relating to Bihar Fodder  Scam.  52
cases involved withdrawal of huge sums of money from  Government  treasuries
falling within Jharkhand State and in 36 out of 52  cases  charge-sheet  had
been filed by CBI before the appointed day. This Court opined that the  only
court which has  the  jurisdiction  to  try  offences  under  Prevention  of
Corruption Act is the Court of Special  Judge  appointed  for  areas  within
which such offences were committed. This Court in CBI, AHD,  Patna  v.  Braj
Bhushan Prasad & Ors. (2001) 9 SCC 432 has laid down thus :

              “33. For that purpose it is useful to look at Section 3(1) of
           the PC Act. It empowers the  Government  to  appoint  a  Special
           Judge to try two categories of  offences.  The  first  is,  “any
           offence punishable under this  Act”  and  the  second  is,  “any
           conspiracy to commit or any attempt to commit or any abetment of
           any of the offences specified” in the first category. So when  a
           court has jurisdiction to try the offence punishable  under  the
           PC Act on  the  basis  of  the  place  where  such  offence  was
           committed, the allied offences such as  conspiracy,  attempt  or
           abetment to commit that offence are only to be linked  with  the
           main offence. When the main offence is committed and is required
           to be tried, it is rather inconceivable that jurisdiction of the
           court will be determined on the basis of where the conspiracy or
           attempt or abetment of such main offence was  committed.  It  is
           only when the main offence  was  not  committed,  but  only  the
           conspiracy to commit that offence or the attempt or the abetment
           of it alone was committed, then the question would arise whether
           the Court of the Special Judge within whose area such conspiracy
           etc. was committed could try the case. For  our  purpose  it  is
           unnecessary to consider that aspect because the charges  proceed
           on  the  assumption  that  the  main  offence  was   committed.”
                                             (Emphasis Supplied)

3.    This Court in Braj Bhushan Prasad (supra) has laid down  that  so  far
as offences under section 13(1)(c) and 13(1)(d)  are  concerned,  the  place
where the offences were committed could easily be identified  as  the  place
where the treasury concerned was situate and laid down thus :

              “37. Thus, when it is certain where exactly the offence under
           Section 13 of the PC Act was  committed  it  is  an  unnecessary
           exercise to ponder over the other areas wherein  certain  allied
           activities, such as  conspiracy  or  preparation,  or  even  the
           prefatory  or  incidental  acts   were   done,   including   the
           consequences that ensued.” (Emphasis Supplied)

              “42. Thus, if the PC Act has stipulated any place  for  trial
           of the offence under that Act the provisions of the  Code  would
           stand displaced to that extent in regard to the place of  trial.
           We have, therefore, no doubt that  when  the  offence  is  under
           Section 13(1)(c) or Section 13(1)(d) of  the  PC  Act  the  sole
           determinative factor regarding the court having jurisdiction  is
           the    place    where    the     offence     was     committed.”
           (Emphasis Supplied)

4.    With respect to adoption of evidence  in  various  cases  as  evidence
with respect to conspiracy was to be common,  this  Court  has  observed  in
Braj Bhushan Prasad (supra) thus :

              “50. To avoid the confusion and repetition of  the  exercise,
           we make it clear that the evidence already recorded  in  any  of
           the 36 cases will be treated as evidence recorded by the  proper
           court having jurisdiction. In other  words,  the  Special  Judge
           need not call the witnesses  already  examined  over  again  for
           repetition of what has already come on record.”

      This Court has clearly observed that the place of trial has to  be  on
the basis of commission of offence where the defalcation has been  made  and
not on the basis of place of conspiracy.  Submission  to  the  contrary  had
been negatived.

5.    Subsequently, prayer was made for  amalgamation  of  six  cases  which
were pending before Special Courts in the State  of  Jharkhand.  Matter  was
considered by this Court with respect to joint trial of cases  including  RC
Nos.20A/96 and 64A/96 which were pending before the Special Judge at  Patna.
This Court considered the matter in Lalu Prasad alias Lalu Prasad  Yadav  v.
State through CBI (A.H.D.), Ranchi, Jharkhand (2003)  11  SCC  786.  It  was
urged on behalf of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Dr. Jagannath Mishra and  others  that
it was a case of only a single conspiracy  and  therefore  there  should  be
amalgamation of trials as  per  the  provisions  contained  in  section  223
Cr.PC. This Court opined that charges were not framed at that stage.  It  is
for trial court to decide the prayer  for  joint  trial.  There  were  large
number of accused persons. It was also observed that main offence was  under
the PC Act and conspiracy was an allied offence. This Court laid  down  thus

              “11. ….Thus it has already been held, by a three-Judge  Bench
           of this Court, that the main offences were under the  Prevention
           of Corruption  Act.  It  has  been  held  that  the  offence  of
           conspiracy is an allied offence to the main  offence  under  the
           Prevention of Corruption Act. The cases are before  the  Special
           Judges because the main offences are  under  the  Prevention  of
           Corruption  Act.  The  main  offence  under  the  Prevention  of
           Corruption Act in  each  case  is  in  respect  of  the  alleged
           transaction in that  case.  As  conspiracy  is  only  an  allied
           offence, it cannot be said that the alleged overt  acts  are  in
           the course of  the  same  transaction.  We  are  bound  by  this
           decision. In any case we see no reason to take a different view.
           As it has already been held that the  charge  of  conspiracy  is
           only an allied charge and  that  the  main  charges  (under  the
           Prevention of Corruption Act) are in  respect  of  separate  and
           distinct acts i.e. monies siphoned out of  different  treasuries
           at different times, we fail to see as to how these  cases  could
           be amalgamated.”

              “14. Before we part it must be mentioned  that  it  had  been
           complained that the appellants would be forced to hear the  same
           evidence 5/6 times. If  the  appellants  or  any  of  them  feel
           aggrieved by this and if they so desire, they may apply  to  the
           Special Judges that evidence recorded in one case and  documents
           marked as an exhibit in one case be used as  evidence  in  other
           cases also. This would obviate their having  to  hear  the  same
           evidence in 5/6 different cases. We are sure  that  if  such  an
           application is made, the same will be considered by the  Special
           Judge on its  merit,  after  hearing  all  the  other  accused”.
           (Emphasis Supplied)

      This Court had noted the  grievance  that  accused  persons  would  be
forced to hear the same evidence 5-6 times, but ordered that they may  apply
to the Special Judges that evidence recorded in one case  and  the  document
marked as an exhibit in one case be used as evidence in other cases also.

6.    Lalu Prasad Yadav was prosecuted and convicted in RC No.20(A)/96  with
respect to aforesaid period  1.4.1994  to  31.1.1995  relating  to  Chaibasa
treasury. The charges had been framed for commission of offence of  criminal
conspiracy punishable under section 120B read with sections 409,  420,  467,
468, 471, 477, 477A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (for  short,  ‘the  IPC’)
and  section  13(1)(c)  read  with  section  13(2)  of  the  Prevention   of
Corruption Act, 1988 (for short  ‘the  PC  Act’)  where  defalcation/general
conspiracy  was  alleged  between  1988  and  1996  and   included   various
treasuries of erstwhile State of Bihar.  However,  in  RC  No.20(A)/96  with
respect to Chaibasa treasury, the specific charge was with  respect  to  the
period 1.4.1994 to  31.1.1995  for  facilitating  dishonest  and  fraudulent
withdrawal of Government funds to the tune of  Rs.37,70,39,743/-.  The  case
RC No.64(A)/96 which is  quashed  relates  to  Deoghar  whereas  the  amount
misappropriated is Rs.85 lakhs as against  actual  allotment  of  funds  for
district of Rs.4,73,400/-  with  the  help  of  250  vouchers  and  17  fake
allotment letters. Misappropriation is alleged for the period 1991 to  1994.
There are 38 accused persons and one of them is Lalu Prasad Yadav.

7.    In the case against Dr. Jagannath Mishra he has been convicted  in  RC
No.20(A)/96   with   respect   to   Chaibasa   treasury   in   respect    of
misappropriation of Rs.37.70 crores  for  the  period  1994-95  whereas  the
prosecution has been quashed with respect  to  RC  No.38(A)/96  relating  to
misappropriation of Rs.3.76 crores from Dumka  treasury  as  against  actual
allotment of Rs.1.5  lakhs  with  the  help  of  96  fake  vouchers  in  the
financial year 1995-96. In case RC No.47(A)/96 misappropriation  alleged  is
that of Rs.139.35 crores against actual allotment of Rs.1,97,90,000 by  fake
vouchers numbering 4845,502 fake  allotment  orders  and  2367  fake  supply
orders in financial years 1991 to 1995. RC No.68(A)/96 relates  to  Chaibasa
treasury  regarding  misappropriation  of  Rs.37.62  crores  against  actual
allotment of Rs.7.10 lakhs with the help  of  495  fake  vouchers,  67  fake
allotment letters and 3870 fake supply  orders  during  the  financial  year

8.    Sajal Chakraborty had been convicted by Trial Court in RC  No.51(A)/96
relating to Chaibasa treasury  regarding  Rs.39.92  crores  misappropriation
against actual allotment of Rs.4,09,750/- with the  help  of  580  vouchers,
4789 fake supply orders for the financial  year  1993-94  on  14.7.2008  but
acquitted by the High Court in appeal.  The  prosecution  has  been  quashed
vis a vis Sajal Chakraborty in RC No.20(A)/96 relating to Chaibasa  Treasury
and RC No.68(A)/96 relating to Chaibasa  Treasury  for  misappropriation  of
Rs.37.62 crores during the financial year 1992-93.

9.    It was submitted on behalf of CBI that though the same  learned  Judge
of the High Court has quashed the proceedings in the  aforesaid  cases  with
respect to Lalu Prasad Yadav, Dr. Jagannath  Mishra  and  Sajal  Chakraborty
owing to their conviction in one of the  cases,  however,  with  respect  to
accused Dr. R.K. Rana, the same  Judge  in  criminal  W.P.  No.226/2011  has
declined to quash the criminal prosecution in pending six other cases  owing
to  his  conviction  in  RC  No.22A/96.  Prayer  for  quashing  of  criminal
prosecution in RC Nos.20A/96, 33A/96, 38A/96, 47A/96, 64A/96 and 68A/96  had
been declined but the  same  very  cases  have  been  quashed  by  taking  a
contrary view in the impugned judgment and order.

10.   It was submitted by  Shri  Ranjit  Kumar,  learned  Solicitor  General
appearing for CBI that as the offences relate to  different  treasuries  for
different financial  years,  for  different  amounts  running  into  several
crores with the help of different fake  allotment  letters,  supply  orders,
different falsification of books of accounts, different  suppliers,  Article
20(2) of Constitution of India is not attracted as the  offences  cannot  be
said to be the same. Similarly the provisions of section 300 Cr.PC  are  not
attracted. They are different offences and transactions. Reliance  has  been
placed upon section 212(2) of the Cr.PC so as to contend that the period  of
charge for offence of misappropriation shall not exceed one year. There  has
to be different trials for different periods. Reference has also  been  made
to sections 219, 220 and 221 of Cr.PC. There is difference between the  same
kind and the same offence. In different treasuries, distinct  offences  have
been committed though of same kind by different  sets  of  accused  persons.
There have to be separate  charges  for  distinct  offences  and,  therefore
separate trials are required to be held. Principle of issue  estoppel  would
not arise as parties are different,  duties  were  different  for  different
times. Judgment of conviction has also been placed on record by CBI.

11.   Prayer has also been made to condone the delay in filing  the  appeals
in  this   Court   for   which   reliance   has   been   placed   upon   the
affidavits/explanation which has been  offered.  Thus,  it  was  urged  that
sufficient ground has been made out so as to condone the delay.

12.   It was submitted  by  Shri  Ram  Jethmalani,  learned  senior  counsel
appearing on behalf of respondent Lalu Prasad Yadav that the delay  has  not
been satisfactorily explained.  There  is  no  sufficient  cause  so  as  to
condone the delay. CBI has acted in flagrant  violation  of  the  provisions
contained in CBI Manual. Thus, no case is made out  so  as  to  condone  the

13.   It was contended by Shri Surendra Singh, learned  senior  counsel   on
behalf of Lalu Prasad Yadav that the  charge  for  conspiracy  against  Lalu
Prasad Yadav with respect to cases at  Chaibasa,  Patna,  Ranchi,  Bhagalpur
and other places of Bihar, Calcutta and  Delhi,  was  not  specific  to  the
period of defalcation. The charges were general for the period from 1988  to
1996. Thus, it was submitted that evidence has been adduced with respect  to
the general conspiracy between 1988 and 1996 which included  the  Treasuries
in question in the cases where prosecution has been quashed. It was not  the
case put up under section 313 Cr.PC that there was separate  conspiracy  for
the period 1.4.1994 to 30.1.1995. In  RC  No.64(A)/96  similar  charges  for
conspiracy for the years 1988 to 1996 at Deoghar, Dumka, Ranchi,  Patna  and
other  places  had  been  framed.  In  pursuance  thereof   an   amount   of
Rs.89,27,164.15/-  has  been  withdrawn  from  Deogarh  Treasury.   As   the
conspiracy for Chaibasa and Deogarh is the same  the  evidence  has  already
been adduced in the case relating to Chaibasa treasury.  Thus  for  one  and
the same conspiracy respondent Lalu Prasad Yadav cannot be tried over  again
in view of Article 20(2) and section 300 Cr.PC.  It  was  further  contended
that the respondent is being prosecuted in two separate  cases  arising  out
of  the  Chaibasa  Treasury  namely  R.C.  No.68  (A)/1996  and  R.C.  No.20
(A)/1996. The first is when the money was siphoned out of  the  Treasury  in
1992-93 and the second is for the period from  1.4.1994  to  30.1.1995  when
the money was withdrawn from  the  Treasury.  In  other  words,  it  is  the
prosecution case itself that between 1992-1995  money  was  being  regularly
siphoned out of the  Chaibasa  Treasury.  The  charge  for  conspiracy  also
states that the conspiracy was from 1990-1997. This is further proof of  the
fact that the conspiracy referred to by the prosecution for  the  Treasuries
of Chaibasa and Deogarh is one and the same conspiracy and not different  or
distinct conspiracies.  Counsel has also  attracted  our  attention  to  the
charges pertaining to  the  Treasuries  of  Dumka  (R.C.  38  (A)/1996)  and
Doranda (R.S. 47A)/1996.  The charges framed for withdrawal  of  money  from
these two treasuries is from 1988-1996 and 1990-1996  respectively  and  the
period  of  conspiracy  has  been  shown  from   1990-1997   and   1991-1996

14.   It was also urged by Shri Surendra Singh, learned senior counsel  that
as per prosecution itself, there was a single  conspiracy  that  started  in
the year 1988 and continued till 1996. The result  of  investigation  in  RC
20(A)/96 and RC  64(A)/96  conclusively  proves  that  there  was  a  single
conspiracy with respect to defalcation at various Treasuries.  Once  accused
has been punished for the conspiracy for the period 1988 to 1996  he  cannot
be punished again for the same offence. Without much ado and more  evidence,
the trial of the accused for offence under section 120B  IPC  is  barred  by
Article 20(2) and section 300 Cr.PC. It was also  urged  that  there  was  a
core  group  of  20  common  accused  in  all  the  prosecutions  i.e.  nine
politicians and eleven senior administrative officers who allegedly  hatched
the main conspiracy to siphon off the funds from  treasuries  earmarked  for
Animal Husbandry Department of erstwhile State of Bihar. The modus  operandi
employed by the conspirators was identical for all the treasuries and  funds
were siphoned off as and when an opportunity occurred.  Since  there  is  no
evidence that separate conspiracies were  hatched  to  defalcate  the  funds
from different treasuries at different points of time second prosecution  is
not permissible. Reference has been made to  Laloo  Prasad  @  Laloo  Prasad
Yadav v. State of Jharkhand (2002) 9 SCC 372 so as  to  contend  that  there
was single general conspiracy, the offences  of  withdrawal  of  money  from
different treasuries including the treasuries of Chaibasa and  Deogarh  were
merely offshoots of the main conspiracy as  observed  by  this  Court  while
granting bail to Lalu Prasad Yadav.  Learned senior counsel has also  relied
upon decision in Mohd. Hussain Umar Kochra etc. v. K.S. Dalipsinghji &  Anr.
AIR 1970 SC 45, Srichand K. Khetwani v. The State of  Maharashtra  AIR  1967
SC 450; and S. Swamirathnam v. State of Madras AIR 1957  SC  340  so  as  to
point out that the case of single general conspiracy is opposed to a  number
of separate conspiracies.  Since  there  was  a  single  conspiracy  in  the
instant case, accused cannot be tried and punished for defalcations made  in
different periods separately. So far as treasury payment is concerned  there
is no evidence against Lalu Prasad Yadav. Besides, it is a case where  there
is no evidence against the accused.

15.   It was submitted by Shri Adit S. Pujari, learned counsel appearing  on
behalf of  Sajal  Chakraborty,  that  the  main  case  set  up  against  the
respondent is that he did not take any steps to find out the cause of  heavy
withdrawal of Rs.50.56 lakhs on a single day by co-accused Dr. B.N.  Sharma.
He was Deputy Commissioner, Chaibasa from September, 1992 to July, 1995.  He
did not exercise control to prevent  misappropriation  of  Government  funds
from Chaibasa treasury. The formal charge  is  identical  in  RC  Nos.51(A),
20(A) and 68(A). It was further alleged by the prosecution that the  accused
had developed a nexus with co-accused persons  and  had  obtained  from  co-
accused as a reward for services rendered – a laptop and  two  printers  for
himself. The accused Sajal Chakraborty was convicted by the trial court  for
certain offences under sections 409, 420, 465, 467, 468, 471, 477A IPC.  His
conviction has been ultimately set aside by  the  High  Court  of  Jharkhand
vide judgment and order dated 3.8.2012 in Criminal Appeal No.979 of 2009  in
which it has  been  held  that  there  was  no  mechanism  with  the  Deputy
Commissioner to check illegal withdrawal from treasury.  Copy  of  allotment
letter of funds to different departments was not  sent  to  the  petitioner.
There was no other evidence direct or circumstantial to establish  that  the
accused did certain acts  for  facilitating  other  accused  to  draw  money
illegally. There is no evidence of nexus or association vis a vis the  other
accused. No one  had  seen  installation  of  laptop  and  computer  in  the
residence of the accused and so the allegation of  receiving  the  same  was
also discarded. Learned counsel has placed reliance  upon  T.T.  Anthony  v.
State of Kerala (2001) 6  SCC  181,  Amitbhai  Anilchandra  Shah  v.  C.B.I.
(2013) 6 SCC 348.  He has also referred to section 212 Cr.PC.  FIR  relating
to Chaibasa is for same transactions though for  different  financial  years
but for the bar under section 212(2) Cr.PC, it would  have  constituted  one
offence, as such section 300(1) would apply.  In  similar  circumstances  in
Emperor v. Jhabbar Mull Lakkar 1922 ILR 924, Sidh Nath  Awasthi  v.  Emperor
1920 ILR 17, prosecution in  subsequent  cases  had  been  quashed.  Section
220(1) Cr.PC would apply to the present case. In fact series of acts  formed
the same transaction. Thus there cannot be subsequent trial. Ingredients  of
offence in all the 3 cases are the same as such there  cannot  be  different
trials. It was also submitted  that  the  principle  of  issue  estoppel  is
attracted. Same issues cannot be agitated afresh  in  the  cases  which  are
settled by prior litigation. The issue of  estoppel  stands  merged  in  the
principles of Autrefois acquit and Autrefois convict  enshrined  in  Article
20(2) and section 300 Cr.PC.

16.   The main question for consideration is  whether  in  view  of  Article
20(2) of Constitution of India and section  300  Cr.PC,  it  is  a  case  of
prosecution and punishment for the “same offence” more than once.  No  doubt
about it that the general conspiracy had been hatched  as  alleged  for  the
period 1988 to 1996 but  defalcations  are  from  different  treasuries  for
different financial years by exceeding the amount of  each  year  which  was
allocated for Animal Husbandry Department for each of the district  for  the
purpose  of  animal  husbandry.  The  amount  involved  is  different,  fake
vouchers, fake allotment letters, fake supply orders had been prepared  with
the help of different sets of accused persons. Though there is  one  general
conspiracy, offences are distinct for  different  periods.  Question  arises
whether  there  is  one  general  conspiracy  pursuant  to   which   various
defalcations of different amounts have been made running into several  years
from different treasuries, by different sets  of  accused  persons.  Whether
there could have been only  one  trial  or  more  than  one.  Whether  legal
requirement is for one trial or more than one in such cases.  Article  20(2)
of the Constitution is extracted hereunder :

           “20.  (2) No person shall be prosecuted  and  punished  for  the
           same offence more than once.”

17.   Article 20(2) says that no person shall  be  prosecuted  and  punished
for the same offence more than once. This is called the doctrine  of  double
jeopardy. The objective of the Article is to avoid harassment, which may  be
caused by successive criminal proceedings, where the  person  has  committed
only one crime. There is a  law  maxim  related  to  this,  nemo  debet  bis
vexari. This means that no man shall be put twice  in  peril  for  the  same
offence. There are two  aspects  of  doctrine  of  jeopardy  viz.  Autrefois
convict and Autrefois acquit. Autrefois convict means that  the  person  has
been previously convicted in respect of the same offence.  Autrefois  acquit
means that the person has been acquitted on a same charge  on  which  he  is
being prosecuted. Constitution bars double punishment for the same  offence.
The conviction for such offence  does  not  bar  for  subsequent  trial  and
conviction for  another  offence  and  it  does  not  matter  even  if  some
ingredients of these two offences are common.

      Section 300 Cr.P.C. is extracted hereunder :

                 “Section 300. Person once convicted or acquitted not to  be
           tried for same offence.--

           (1)  A person who has once been tried by a  Court  of  competent
           jurisdiction for an offence and convicted or acquitted  of  such
           offence shall, while such conviction  or  acquittal  remains  in
           force, not be liable to be tried again for the same offence, nor
           on the same facts for any other offence for  which  a  different
           charge from the one made against him might have been made  under
           sub-section (1) of section 221, or for which he might have  been
           convicted under sub- section (2) thereof.

           (2) A person acquitted  or  convicted  of  any  offence  may  be
           afterwards tried, with the consent of the State Government,  for
           any distinct offence for which a separate charge might have been
           made against him at the former trial under sub- section  (1)  of
           section 220.

           (3) A person convicted of any offence  constituted  by  any  act
           causing consequences which, together with such act,  constituted
           a different offence from that of which he was convicted, may  be
           afterwards tried  for  such  last-  mentioned  offence,  if  the
           consequences had not happened, or were not known to the Court to
           have happened, at the time when he was convicted.

           (4) A person acquitted or convicted of any  offence  constituted
           by any acts may, notwithstanding such acquittal  or  conviction,
           be subsequently charged with, and tried for, any  other  offence
           constituted by the same acts which he may have committed if  the
           Court by which he was first tried was not competent to  try  the
           offence with which he is subsequently charged.

           (5) A person discharged under section 258  shall  not  be  tried
           again for the same offence except with the consent of the  Court
           by which he was discharged or of any other Court  to  which  the
           first- mentioned Court is subordinate.

           (6) Nothing in this  section  shall  affect  the  provisions  of
           section 26 of the General Clauses Act, 1897, (10 of 1897) or  of
           section 188 of this Code.”

18.   Section 300 refers to sections 220 and 221 Cr.PC. No doubt it  appears
that a person who has been convicted or  acquitted  of  the  “same  offence”
cannot be tried again considering the aforesaid provisions.  Section  220(1)
provides that if one series of acts is so connected together as to form  the
same transaction, more offences than one are committed by the  same  person,
he may be charged with and tried  at  one  trial  for  every  such  offence.
Section 220(1) is extracted hereunder :

           “220. Trial for more than one offence.--(1) If, in one series of
           acts so connected together as to form the same transaction, more
           offences than one are committed by the same person,  he  may  be
           charged with, and tried at one trial for, every such offence.”

19.   Section 221(1) is applicable where it is  doubtful  what  offence  has
been committed. When a single act or series of acts  is  of  such  a  nature
that it is doubtful which of several offences the facts which can be  proved
would constitute, the accused may be charged with having  committed  all  or
any of such offences and such charges can be tried together.

20.   Chapter XVII deals with the form of charges. Section  212  deals  with
contents of charge, e.g., particulars of time,  place  and  person.  Section
212 is extracted hereunder :

           “212.  Particulars as to time, place and person.--(1) The charge
           shall contain such particulars as to the time and place  of  the
           alleged offence, and the person (if any) against  whom,  or  the
           thing (if any) in respect of which, it  was  committed,  as  are
           reasonably sufficient to give the accused notice of  the  matter
           with which he is charged.
           (2) When the accused is charged with criminal breach of trust or
           dishonest misappropriation of money or other  movable  property,
           It shall be sufficient to specify the gross sum or, as the  case
           may be, describe the movable property in respect  of  which  the
           offence is alleged to have been committed, and the dates between
           which the offence is alleged to  have  been  committed,  without
           specifying particular items or exact dates, and  the  charge  so
           framed shall be deemed to be a charge of one offence within  the
           meaning of section 219;
                Provided that the time included between the first and  last
           of such dates shall not exceed one year.” (Emphasis Supplied)

21.   When  the  accused  is  charged  with  criminal  breach  of  trust  or
dishonest appropriation of money or other immovable property,  it  shall  be
sufficient to specify the gross sum or describe  the  moveable  property  in
respect of which offence is alleged to have been committed,  and  the  dates
between which the  offence  is  alleged  to  have  been  committed,  without
specifying particular items of exact dates, and the charge so  framed  shall
be deemed to be a charge of one offence within the meaning  of  section  219
provided that the time included between the first and  last  of  such  dates
shall not exceed one year. A charge shall contain  such  particulars  as  to
time and place of the alleged offence and time period shall not  exceed  one
year. Time period and place of the offence is material in such cases.

22.   Section 219 Cr.PC provides that three offences of same kind  within  a
year may be charged together. When a person  is  accused  of  more  offences
than one of the same kind committed within a period of one year, he  may  be
charged with, and tried at one trial for, any number of them  not  exceeding
three for same  kind  of  offence  under  section  219(1).  Section  219  is
reproduced hereunder :

           “S.219. Three offences of same kind within year may  be  charged
           (1) When a person is accused of more offences than  one  of  the
           same kind committed within the space of twelve months  from  the
           first to the last of such offences, whether in  respect  of  the
           same person or not, he may be charged with,  and  tried  at  one
           trial for, any number of them not exceeding three.
           (2) Offences are of the same kind when they are punishable  with
           the same amount of punishment under  the  same  section  of  the
           Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860 ) or of any special or local law:
                Provided that, for the purposes of this section, an offence
           punishable under section 379 of the Indian  Penal  Code  (45  of
           1860 ) shall be deemed to be an offence of the same kind  as  an
           offence punishable under section 380 of the said Code, and  that
           an offence punishable under any section of the said Code, or  of
           any special or local law, shall be deemed to be  an  offence  of
           the same kind as an attempt to commit such offence, when such an
           attempt is an offence.”

23.   It is apparent from section 212 read with section 219 that there  have
to be separate trials for different years covering the period of  more  than
one year. Same kind of offence is a different thing than the “same  offence”
for the purpose of sections 219, 220 or 300. The  scheme  of  law  is  clear
that separate charges for distinct offences must be  framed  separately  and
they cannot be clubbed together for more than one year.

24.   This Court in Natwar Lal Sakar Lal Mody v.  The  State  of  Bombay  26
(1984) DLT 64  considered  the  question  of  joint  trial  of  persons  and
offences for conspiracy as per provisions contained  in  section  239(d)  of
the old Cr.PC. This Court has laid down that separate trial is the rule  and
joint trial is an exception. Joint trial would be an irregular  exercise  of
discretion if a court allows innumerable offences spread over a long  period
of time and committed  by  a  large  number  of  persons  to  be  under  the
protecting wings of an all-embracing conspiracy, and if each or some of  the
offences can be separately tried, it would be appropriate and lawful.  Joint
trial prolongs the trial and causes waste of judicial time  and  complicates
the matter which might  otherwise  be  simple,  and  it  would  confuse  the
accused and cause prejudice to them. Court  should  not  be  overzealous  to
provide a cover of  conspiracy  for  a  number  of  offences  unless  it  is
satisfied that the persons who committed separate offences were  parties  to
the conspiracy and committed the separate acts pursuant to conspiracy.  This
Court has laid down thus :

           “11. This discussion leads us to the following  legal  position.
           Separate trial is the rule and  joint  trial  is  an  exception.
           While Section 239 of the Code  of Criminal  Procedure  allows  a
           joint trial of person and offences within defined limits, it  is
           within the discretion of the Court to permit such a joint  trial
           or not, having regard to the  circumstances  of  each  case.  It
           would certainly be an irregular  exercise  of  discretion  if  a
           Court allows an innumerable number of  offences  spread  over  a
           long period of time and committed by a large number  of  persons
           under the protecting wing of all-embracing conspiracy,  if  each
           or some of the offences can legitimately and properly  form  the
           subject-matter of a separate trial; such  a  joint  trial  would
           undoubtedly  prolong  the  trial  and  would  be  a   cause   of
           unnecessary waste of judicial time. It would complicate  matters
           which might otherwise be simple; it would  confuse  accused  and
           cause prejudice to them, for more often  than  not  accused  who
           have taken part in one of the minor offences might have not only
           to undergo the long strain of protracted trial, but there  might
           also be the likelihood of the impact of the evidence adduced  in
           respect of other accused on the  evidence  adduced  against  him
           working to his detriment. Nor  can  it  be  said  that  such  an
           omnibus charge or charges would  always  be  in  favour  of  the
           prosecution for the confusion  introduced  in  the  charges  and
           consequently in the evidence may ultimately benefit some of  the
           accused, as a clear case against one or other of the accused may
           be complicated or confused by the attempt to put it in a  proper
           place in a larger setting. A Court should not be overzealous  to
           provide a cover of conspiracy for a number of offences unless it
           is clearly satisfied on the material placed before it that there
           is evidence to prove prima facie that the persons who  committed
           separate offences  were  parties  to  the  conspiracy  and  they
           committed the separate acts attributed to them pursuant  to  the
           object of the said conspiracy.” (Emphasis Supplied)

25.   This Court in Ranchhod Lal v. State of  Madhya  Pradesh  AIR  1965  SC
1248 has also considered  the  question  of  joint  trial  in  the  case  of
criminal breach of trust. It has been observed  that  normal  rule  is  that
there should be a charge for each distinct offence. Court is  authorized  to
lump up the various items with respect to which  criminal  breach  of  trust
was committed and to mention the total amount misappropriated within a  year
in the charge. When so done, the charge is deemed to be the  charge  of  one
offence. This Court has laid down that a  separate  trial  with  respect  to
each distinct offence of  criminal  breach  of  trust  with  respect  to  an
individual item is the correct mode of  proceeding  with  the  trial  of  an
offence of criminal breach of trust. This Court has laid down thus :

           “(14.) Section 222, Cr. P.C. reads :
           "(1) The charge shall contain such particulars as  to  the  time
           and place of the  alleged  offence,  and  the  person  (if  any)
           against whom, or the thing (if any) in respect of which, it  was
           committed, as are reasonably  sufficient  to  give  the  accused
           notice of the matter with which he is charged.
           (2) When the accused is charged with criminal breach of trust or
           dishonest misappropriation of money, it shall be  sufficient  to
           specify the gross sum in respect of which the offence is alleged
           to have been committed, and the dates between which the  offence
           is alleged to have been committed, without specifying particular
           items or exact dates, and the charge so framed shall  be  deemed
           to be a charge of one offence within the meaning of S. 234:
                Provided that the time included between the first and  last
           of such dates shall not exceed one year."
           Sub-section (2) is an exception to meet  a  certain  contingency
           and is not the normal rule with respect of framing of  a  charge
           in cases of criminal breach of trust. The normal  rule  is  that
           there should be a charge for each distinct offence  as  provided
           in S. 233 of the Code. S. 222 mentions what the contents of  the
           charge should be. It is only when it  may  not  be  possible  to
           specify exactly particular items with respect to which  criminal
           breach of trust took place  or  the  exact  date  on  which  the
           individual  items  were  misappropriated  or  in  some   similar
           contingency, that the Court is authorised to lump up the various
           items with  respect  to  which  criminal  breach  of  trust  was
           committed and to mention the total amount misappropriated with a
           year in the charge. When so done, the charge is deemed to be the
           charge of one offence. If several distinct items with respect to
           which criminal breach of trust has been  committed  are  not  so
           lumped together, no illegality is  committed  in  the  trial  of
           those offences. In fact a separate trial with  respect  to  each
           distinct offence of criminal breach of trust with respect to  an
           individual item is the correct mode of proceeding with the trial
           of an offence of criminal breach of trust.
           (15.) Learned counsel for the appellant also relied on  S.  234,
           Code of Criminal Procedure and  urged  that  three  offences  of
           criminal breach of trust could have been tried at one  trial  as
           sec. 234 provides that when a person is accused of more offences
           than one of the same kind committed within the space  of  twelve
           months from the first to the last of such offences,  whether  in
           respect of the same person or not, he may be charged  with,  and
           tried at one trial for any number of them not  exceeding  three.
           This again is an enabling provision and is an exception to  sec.
           233, Code of Criminal Procedure If each of the several  offences
           is tried separately, there is nothing illegal about it.  It  may
           also be mentioned that the total number of items charged in  the
           four cases exceeded three.
           (16.) Lastly, reference was made, on behalf of the appellant  to
           sec. 235, Code of Criminal Procedure and it was urged  that  all
           these  offences  were  committed  in  the  course  of  the  same
           transaction, and therefore, they should have been tried  at  one
           trial. Assuming, without deciding, that these offences could  be
           said  to  have  been  committed  in  the  course  of  the   same
           transaction, the separate trial of  the  appellant  for  certain
           specific offences  is  not  illegal.  This  section  too  is  an
           enabling section.”

26.   In R. v. Griffith 1965 (2) AER 448  it  has  been  laid  down  that  a
conspiracy should be tried separately to substantive counts.  The  Court  of
Appeal in England has laid down thus :

           “9. The practice of adding  what  may  be  called  a  rolled  up
           conspiracy charge to a number of counts of substantive  offences
           has become common.  We express the very strong  hope  that  this
           practice will now cease and that the  courts  will  never  again
           have to struggle with this type of case, where it becomes almost
           impossible to explain  to  a  jury  that  evidence  inadmissible
           against the accused on the substantive count may  be  admissible
           against him on the conspiracy count once he is  shown  to  be  a
           conspirator.  We do no believe that most juries can ever  really
           understand the subtleties of the situation.   In  our  judgment,
           except in simple cases, a conspiracy count (if one is needed  at
           all) should be tried separately to substantive counts.”

27.   In State of A P v. Cheemalapti Ganeswara Rao & Anr. (1964) 3  SCR  297
this Court dealt with misjoinder of parties under section  239  of  the  old
Cr.P.C. This Court with respect to ‘same transaction’ has observed thus :

           “10. Whether a transaction can be regarded  as  the  same  would
           necessarily depend upon the particular facts of each case and it
           seems to us to be a difficult task to undertake a definition  of
           that which the Legislature has deliberately left undefined.   We
           have not come across a single decision of any  Court  which  the
           Legislature has embarked upon the difficult task of defining the
           expression.  But it is generally thought  that  where  there  is
           proximity of time or place or unity of  purpose  and  design  or
           continuity of action in respect of a series of acts, it  may  be
           possible to infer that they form part of the  same  transaction.
           It is, however, not necessary that every one of  these  elements
           should co-exist for a transaction to be regarded as the same.”

           Further, it was held that:

           “Where, however, several  offences  are  alleged  to  have  been
           committed by several accused persons it may be  more  reasonable
           to follow the normal rule of separate trials.  But here,  again,
           if those offences are alleged not be wholly unconnected  but  as
           forming part of the same transaction the only consideration that
           will justify separate  trials  would  be  the  embarrassment  or
           difficulty  caused  to  the   accused   persons   in   defending
           themselves.”           (Emphasis supplied)

      When several offences are alleged to have been  committed  by  several
accused persons this Court has laid down that normal  rule  is  of  separate

28.   In Sardar Sardul Singh Caveeshar v. State of Maharashtra (1964) 2  SCR
378, this Court considered the question of conspiracy in a  case  where  the
accused had first defrauded  one  Jupiter  company  and  thereafter  another
company called Empire. Argument was raised that once having  been  convicted
of conspiracy qua the Jupiter case, he could not be  convicted  qua  company
called Empire. This Court relying upon judgment in State of Bombay  v.  S.L.
Apte (1961) 3 SCR 107 has laid down thus :

                 “In the present case, applying the test laid down by  this
           Court, the two  conspiracies  are  not  the  same  offence:  the
           Jupiter  conspiracy  came  to  an  end  when  its   funds   were
           misappropriated.    The   Empire    conspiracy    was    hatched
           subsequently, though its object had an intimate connection  with
           the Jupiter in that the fraud of the Empire  was  conceived  and
           executed to  cover  up  the  fraud  of  the  Jupiter.   The  two
           conspiracies are distinct offences.  It cannot even be said that
           some of the ingredients of both the conspiracies are  the  same.
           The facts  constituting  the  Jupiter  conspiracy  are  not  the
           ingredients of the offence of the Empire  conspiracy,  but  only
           afford a motive for  the  latter  offence.   Motive  is  not  an
           ingredient of an offence.  The proof of motive helps a Court  in
           coming to a correct conclusion when there is no direct evidence.
            Where there is direct offence for implicating an accused in  an
           offence, the absence of proof of motive is  not  material.   The
           ingredients of both the offences are totally different and  they
           do not form the same offence within the meaning of Art.20(2)  of
           the Constitution and, therefore, that Article has  no  relevance
           to the present case.”

29.   In Gopal Prasad Sinha v. State of Bihar (1970) 2 SCC 905  offence  was
committed between two different periods when  the  accused  was  working  as
Cashier. On the basis of acquittal in  the  first  offence,  plea  of  issue
estoppel was raised for the second  period  during  trial.  This  Court  had
rejected the submission thus :

           “7.  In  our  opinion,  the  High  Court  came  to  the  correct
           conclusion.  The basic principle underlying the rule  of  issue-
           estoppel is that the same issue of fact and law must  have  been
           determined  in  the  previous  litigation.   The  question  then
           arises: Was it the same issue of fact which  was  determined  in
           the earlier case?  A person may  be acting as a cashier  at  one
           period and may not be acting as a  cashier  at  another  period,
           especially as in this case it was found that the  appellant  had
           never been appointed as a cashier.  He was  a  temporary  senior
           accounts clerk who was  alleged  to  be  doing  the  work  of  a
           cashier.  If there is any  likelihood  of  facts  or  conditions
           changing during the two periods which  are  under  consideration
           then it is difficult to say that the prosecution would be  bound
           by the finding in a previous trial on a similar issue  of  fact.
           It seems to us that the later finding  must  necessarily  be  in
           contradiction of the previous determination.  There  can  be  no
           such contradiction if the periods are different  and  the  facts
           relating to the carrying on of  the  duties  of  a  cashier  are
           different.”(Emphasis supplied)

30.   It is pertinent to mention here that this Court in this very case  has
negatived the contention of joint trials and amalgamation of trials  in  the
aforesaid decisions. When parties are different,  issue  of  estoppel  would
not arise. The substantive offence is that of  defalcation.  Conspiracy  was
an allied offence to the substantive offence.

31.   Section  218  deals  with  separate  charges  for  distinct  offences.
Section 219 quoted above, provides that three offences of the same kind  can
be clubbed in one trial committed within one year.  Section  220  speaks  of
trial for more than one offence if  it  is  the  same  transaction.  In  the
instant case it cannot be said that defalcation is same transaction  as  the
transactions are in different  treasuries  for  different  years,  different
amounts, different allotment letters, supply orders and suppliers. Thus  the
provision of section 221 is not attracted in the  instant  case.  There  are
different sets of  accused  persons  in  different  cases  with  respect  to

32.   There may be a conspiracy in general one and  a  separate  one.  There
may be larger  conspiracy  and  smaller  conspiracy  which  may  develop  in
successive stages involving different accused persons. In the  instant  case
defalcations have been made in various years  by  combination  of  different
accused persons. Thus, there can be separate trials  on  the  basis  of  law
laid down by this Court in Ram Lal Narang v.  State  (Delhi  Administration)
(1979) 2 SCC 322 wherein this Court has laid down thus :

           “11.  ….The offences alleged in the first case were Section 120-
           B read with Section 420 and  Section  406,  Indian  Penal  Code,
           while the offences alleged in the second case were Section 120-B
           read with Section 411, Indian Penal Code and Section 25  of  the
           Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972………. We are clear, in the
           present case, that the conspiracies which are the subject-matter
           of the two cases cannot be  said  to  be  identical  though  the
           conspiracy which is the subject-matter of the  first  case  may,
           perhaps, be said to have turned out to be part of the conspiracy
           which is the subject-matter of the second case. As we  mentioned
           earlier, when investigation commenced in FIR. R.C.  4  of  1976,
           apart from the circumstance that the property involved  was  the
           same,  the  link  between  the  conspiracy  to  cheat   and   to
           misappropriate and the  conspiracy  to  dispose  of  the  stolen
           property was not known.”

33.   In the instant case, offences are not the same offence. There  can  be
different  trials  for  the  same  offence  if  tried  under  two  different
enactments  altogether  and  comprised  of  two  different  offences   under
different Acts/statutes without  violation  of  the  provisions  of  Article
20(2) or Section 300 Cr.PC.  This Court has decided  the  issue  in  various

           (a) In Kharkan & Ors.  v. The State of U.P.  (1964)  4  SCR  673
           this Court has laid down thus :

                       “Even  if  the  two  incidents  could  be  viewed  as
                 connected so as to form parts  of  one  transaction  it  is
                 obvious  that  the  offences  were  distinct  and  required
                 different charges. The assault on Tikam  in  fulfilment  of
                 the common object of the unlawful assembly  was  over  when
                 the unlawful assembly proceeded to the house  of  Tikam  to
                 loot it. The new common object to beat Puran was formed  at
                 a time when the common object in respect of Tikam had  been
                 fully worked out and even if the  two  incidents  could  be
                 taken to be connected by unity of  time  and  place  (which
                 they were not), the offences  were  distinct  and  required
                 separate charges. The learned Sessions Judge was  right  in
                 breaking up the single charge framed by the magistrate  and
                 ordering separate trials. In this view the prior  acquittal
                 cannot create a bar in respect  of  the  conviction  herein
                 reached.” (Emphasis Supplied)

           (b) In Maqbool Hussain v. The State of  Bombay  (1953)  SCR  730
           this Court has laid down thus :

                 “Appellant had smuggled gold into India and was booked  u/s
                 167(8) of the Sea Customs Act, 1878 and  subsequently  when
                 no one came to claim the gold, he was  charged  11/8  8  0f
                 FERA. He  challenged  this  as  violation  of  Art.  20(2).
                 The Court analysed the scope of Art. 20(2)  and  held  that
                 the “prosecution” must be before a court of law or judicial
                 tribunal. The plea of double jeopardy was discarded  as  it
                 was held that the Customs authorities were not  a  judicial
                 tribunal or court. For double jeopardy, the test is whether
                 the former offence and the offence  now  charged  have  the
                 same ingredients in the sense that the  facts  constituting
                 the one are sufficient to justify a conviction of the other
                 and not that the facts relied on by the prosecution are the
                 same in the two trials.”

           (c) In State  of  Bombay  v.  S.L.  Apte  (1961)  3  SCR  107  a
           Constitution Bench of this Court has laid down as to  the  issue
           regarding conviction under section 409 IPC and  section  105  of
           Insurance Act. The submission of double  jeopardy  was  repelled
           with respect to offences under section 11 of IPC and section 105
           of Insurance Act. It was held that the offences under  both  the
           Acts are distinct due to their ingredients. So as to  constitute
           double jeopardy two offences should be identical.

           (d) In T.S. Baliah v. T.S. Rengachari (1969) 3 SCR 65, appellant
           was sought to be prosecuted under section 177 IPC and section 52
           of Income Tax Act, 1922 for furnishing wrong information in  his
           tax returns. On consideration of section 26 of  General  Clauses
           Act, this Court held that the provision did not provide a bar on
           trial and conviction for the same offence under  more  than  one
           enactment in case ingredients of offences are distinct. It  only
           barred double punishment and not double conviction.

           (e) In V.K. Agarwal v. Vasantraj B. Bhatia (1988) 3 SCC 467  the
           question arose whether acquittal  of  an  accused  charged  with
           having committed the offence punishable under section  111  read
           with section 135 of Customs Act, 1969 created a legal bar to the
           accused, subsequently being prosecuted under section 85  of  the
           Gold (Control) Act, 1968. It was held that  the  ingredients  of
           offence under each of the enactments were quite  different.  The
           Court applied the test developed in Maqbool Hussain (supra)  and
           held the two offences to be different in scope and  contents  of
           their ingredients.  The  Court  also  relied  upon  S.L.  Apte’s
           decision (supra) and observed  that  what  is  necessary  is  to
           analyse  the  ingredients  of  the  two  offences  and  not  the
           allegations made in two complaints.   No  doubt  about  it  that
           there can be separate offences but ingredients would remain same
           under penal provision but that would also not make out a case of
           violating the provisions of Article 20(2)  of  the  Constitution
           and Section 300 Cr.P.C.

           (f) In case ingredients of the offences to be  tried  separately
           arise out of the same offence,  there  can  be  separate  trials
           under  two  enactments,  if  the  ingredients  constituting  two
           offences are different under different Acts, there is no bar for
           separate trials. In State of Bihar v.  Murad  Ali  Khan  &  Ors.
           (1988) 4 SCC 655 it was held :

                 “The expression "any act or omission which constitutes  any
                 offence under this Act"  in  Section 56 of  the  Wild  Life
                 (Protection) Act, 1972 merely imports  the  idea  that  the
                 same act or omission  might  constitute  an  offence  under
                 another law and could be tried under such other law or laws
                 also. Further held that, if  there  are  two  distinct  and
                 separate offences  with  different  ingredients  under  two
                 different enactments. a double punishment  is  not  barred.
                 The same set of facts can  constitute  offences  under  two
                 different laws. An act or an omission  can  amount  to  and
                 constitute an offence under the IPC and at  the  same  time
                 constitute an offence under any other law.”

           (g) In State of Rajasthan v. Hat Singh & Ors. (2003) 2  SCC  152
           this Court was dealing with vires of Rajasthan Sati (Prevention)
           Act, 1987. It was urged that sections 5 and 6 of  new  Sati  Act
           were overlapping. It was held that with regard to Article  20(2)
           that subsequent trial or a prosecution and  punishment  are  not
           barred if the ingredients of two offences  are  distinct.  There
           can be separate offences from same set of  facts  and  hence  no
           double jeopardy.

           (h) In Monica Bedi v. State of Andhra Pradesh (2011) 1  SCC  284
           this Court  considered  the  meaning  of  the  expression  “same
           offence” employed in Article  20(2)  and  observed  that  second
           prosecution and conviction must be for the same offence. If  the
           offences are distinct, there is no question of the  rule  as  to
           double jeopardy being applicable. This Court has observed thus :

                 “26.  What is the meaning of the expression used in Article
                 20(2) “for the same  offence”?  What  is  prohibited  under
                 Article  20(2)  is,  that  the   second   prosecution   and
                 conviction must be for the same offence.  If  the  offences
                 are distinct, there is no question of the rule as to double
                 jeopardy being applicable. ….

                                  x x x x x

                 29.  It is thus clear that the same facts may give rise  to
                 different prosecutions and punishment and in such an  event
                 the protection afforded by Article 20(2) is not  available.
                 It is settled law that  a  person  can  be  prosecuted  and
                 punished more than once even on  substantially  same  facts
                 provided the ingredients of both the offences  are  totally
                 different and they did not form the same offence.”

           (i) In Sangeetaben Mahendrabhai Patel v. State of M.P. (2012)  7
           SCC 621, with respect to double jeopardy, this  Court  has  laid
           down thus :

                 “33. In view of the above, the law is well settled that  in
                 order to attract the  provisions  of  Article 20(2) of  the
                 Constitution  i.e.  doctrine   of   autrefois   acquit   or
                 Section 300 Code     of     Criminal     Procedure.      or
                 Section 71 Indian  Penal  Code  or  Section 26 of   General
                 Clauses Act, ingredients of the  offences  in  the  earlier
                 case as well as in the latter case must be the same and not
                 different. The test to ascertain whether the  two  offences
                 are the same is not identity of  the  allegations  but  the
                 identity of the ingredients  of  the  offence.  Motive  for
                 committing offence  cannot  be  termed  as  ingredients  of
                 offences to determine the  issue.  The  plea  of  autrefois
                 acquit is not proved unless it is shown that  the  judgment
                 of acquittal in the previous charge necessarily involves an
                 acquittal of the latter charge.”

           .(j) In State of Rajasthan v. Bhagwan Das Agrawal (2013) 16  SCC
           574 there were 3 FIRs. registered with respect to illegal supply
           of explosives. Charge was under the Explosives Act.  This  Court
           held that the nature and manner of the offences committed by the
           accused persons were not identical but were  different,  and  as
           such FIRs. were not relating to the same  offence  as  different
           acts happened  in  different  places.  As  such  the  provisions
           contained in section 186 Cr.PC would not apply.

           (k) In State of NCT of Delhi v. Sanjay etc.  (2014)  9  SCC  772
           this Court considered the maxim “nemo debet bis vexari  pro  una
           et eadem causa” i.e. no man shall be put in jeopardy  twice  for
           one and the same offence.  In  case  ingredients  are  different
           there can be separate trial for  the  same  offence  also.  This
           Court has laid down thus :

                  “52. It is well known  principle  that  the  rule  against
                 double jeopardy is based on a maxim nemo debet  bis  vexari
                 pro una et eadem causa, which means no man shall be put  in
                 jeopardy twice for one and the same offence.  Article 20 of
                 the  Constitution  provides  that  no   person   shall   be
                 prosecuted or punished for  the  offence  more  than  once.
                 However, it is also settled that a subsequent  trial  or  a
                 prosecution and punishment has no bar if the ingredients of
                 the two offences are distinct.”

34.   In the light of aforesaid discussion, it is  appropriate  to  consider
the submissions raised  by  Shri  Surendra  Singh,  learned  senior  counsel
appearing on behalf of Lalu  Prasad  Yadav.  It  was  submitted  by  learned
senior counsel that since the conspiracy was between  1988  and  1996  which
included the period of 1994-1995,  the  conviction  has  been  made  on  the
charge of conspiracy from 1988 to 1996 which included all the treasuries  of
the erstwhile State of Bihar. There was no charge  of  separate  conspiracy.
Charges being similar in the cases which have been quashed. No case is  made
out for trial under section 120-B.  Same  and  identical  circumstances  are
being relied upon by the  prosecution.   There  are  no  new  or  additional
circumstances in the  cases  which  have  been  quashed.   The  conspiracies
referred to are one and the same and not different  conspiracies.  Thus,  in
view of the trial which had concluded, there cannot be further trial on  the
charge of conspiracy.

35.   We are unable to accept  the  submissions  raised  by  learned  senior
counsel. Though there was  one  general  charge  of  conspiracy,  which  was
allied in nature, the charge was qualified with the  substantive  charge  of
defalcation of a particular sum from a  particular  treasury  in  particular
time period. The charge has to be taken in  substance  for  the  purpose  of
defalcation from a  particular  treasury  in  a  particular  financial  year
exceeding the allocation made for the purpose of  animal  husbandry  on  the
basis of fake vouchers, fake  supply  orders  etc.  The  sanctions  made  in
Budget were separate for each and every year. This Court has  already  dealt
with this matter when the prayers for amalgamation and joint trial had  been
made and in view of the position of law  and  various  provisions  discussed
above, we are of the opinion that separate trials which are being  made  are
in accordance with provisions of law otherwise it would have prejudiced  the
accused  persons  considering  the  different  defalcations  from  different
treasuries at different times with different documents.  Whatever  could  be
combined has  already  been  done.  Each  defalcation  would  constitute  an
independent offence. Thus, by no stretch, it can be held to be in  violation
of Article 20(2) of the Constitution or Section 300 Cr.P.C. Separate  trials
in such cases is the very intendment of law.  There  is  no  room  to  raise
such a grievance.  Though evidence of general conspiracy  has  been  adduced
in cases which have been concluded, it may be common to all  the  cases  but
at the same time offences are different at different  places,  by  different
accused persons. As and when a separate offence  is  committed,  it  becomes
punishable and the substantive charge which has to be taken is that  of  the
offence under the P.C. Act etc.  There  was  conspiracy  hatched  which  was
continuing one and has resulted into various offences. It  was  joined  from
time to time by  different  accused  persons,  so  whenever  an  offence  is
committed  in  continuation  of  the  conspiracy,  it  would  be  punishable
separately for different periods as envisaged in section 212(2),  obviously,
there have to be separate trials. Thus it cannot be said to  be  a  case  of
double jeopardy at all. It cannot be said that  for  the  same  offence  the
accused persons are being tried again.

36.   Learned senior counsel has relied upon the decision of this  Court  in
S.  Swamirathnam  (supra)  in  which  the  charge   disclosed   one   single
conspiracy, although spread over several years. There was  only  one  object
of the conspiracy, and that was cheating members of  the  public.  The  fact
that in the course of years others joined the  conspiracy  or  that  several
incidents of cheating took place in pursuance of the  conspiracy,  does  not
change the conspiracy and  does  not  split  up  a  single  conspiracy  into
several conspiracies. The  accused  persons  raised  the  submission  as  to
misjoinder of the charges. This Court has dealt with the matter thus :

           “2. Both the courts below, relying on the oral  and  documentary
           evidence in the case, held it as a fact that there  had  been  a
           conspiracy during the years 1945-48  to  cheat  members  of  the
           public between some of the accused and the  approvers  Ramaswami
           Mudaliar and Vellayam Pillai  examined  as  P.  Ws.  91  and  61
           respectively. The method adopted for cheating  was  to  persuade
           such members of the public, as could be persuaded, to part  with
           their money to purchase counterfeit Rs. 5 currency notes at half
           their face value and after having obtained their money to decamp
           with it. When a member of the public handed over his money, at a
           certain stage, one of the conspirators pretending to be a Police
           Officer would arrest the man who had the  box  containing  their
           money and take him away  with  the  box.  The  victim  was  thus
           deprived of his money without even having a  single  counterfeit
           currency note in his possession in exchange of the genuine money
           paid by him. We have scrutinized with care the judgments of  the
           Sessions Judge and the learned Judge of the High Court and  find
           that they were amply justified, having regard to  the  state  of
           the evidence on the record, in coming to the conclusion that the
           case  of  the  prosecution  concerning  the  existence  of   the
           conspiracy as charged to cheat the members of  the  public,  had
           been proved. We are unable to  find  any  special  circumstance,
           arising from the evidence on the record, which would justify our
           interference with the finding of fact arrived at by  the  courts
           below. Indeed, the evidence is overwhelming  and  convincing  to
           prove the  case  of  the  prosecution  that  there  had  been  a
           conspiracy in the relevant years to cheat  the  members  of  the
           public between some of the accused and the aforesaid approvers.

           7. On behalf of the appellant Abu Bucker it was  contended  that
           there has been misjoinder of charges on the ground that  several
           conspiracies, distinct from each other, had been lumped together
           and tried at one trial. The Advocate for Swamirathnam,  however,
           did not put forward this submission. We have examined the charge
           carefully and  find  no  ground  for  accepting  the  contention
           raised. The charge as framed, discloses one  single  conspiracy,
           although spread over several years. There was only one object of
           the conspiracy and that was to client members of the public. The
           fact that in the course of years others joined the conspiracy or
           that several incidents of cheating took place  in  pursuance  of
           the conspiracy did not change the conspiracy & did not spilt  up
           a single conspiracy into several conspiracies. It was  suggested
           that although the modus operandi may hove  been  the  same,  the
           several  instances  of  cheating  were  not  part  of  the  same
           transaction. Reliance  was  placed  on  the  case  of  Sharpurji
           Sorabji v. Emperor : AIR  1936  Bom  154  and  on  the  case  of
           Choragudi Venkatadari In re ILR 33 Mad 592. These cases are  not
           in point. In the Bombay case no charge of  conspiracy  had  been
           framed and the decision in the  Madras  case  was  given  before
           Section 120-B, was introduced into the Indian Penal Code. In the
           present case, the instances of cheating were in pursuance of the
           conspiracy and were therefore parts of the same transaction.”

      It is apparent from the aforesaid decision that  this  Court  did  not
consider various provisions and question of double jeopardy  did  not  arise
for consideration. It was held in the facts that there was no  prejudice  to
the accused persons. There was no misjoinder of the charges.  On  facts  the
case has no application and cannot be said to be an authority on Article  20
of the Constitution and section 300 Cr.PC.

37.   In Srichand K. Khetwani’s case (supra),  accused  were  tried  for  an
offence punishable under section 120-B read with  section  409  and  section
5(2) read with section 5(1)(d) of the P.C. Act. They were all  convicted  by
the  trial  court.  The  conviction  of  the  appellants  was  upheld.   The
prosecution case was that in  pursuance  of  the  conspiracy,  a  number  of
licences in the name of  several  companies  which  had  no  existence  were
prepared, some of them were actually issued and that two of  those  licences
issued were in the name of M.L. Trading Co., Bombay and  were  delivered  to
appellant by Prabhakar Karmik. The Court held that  the  appellant  received
the licences issued in the  name  of  the  fictitious  firm,  therefore  the
appellant was a member of the conspiracy with which he was  charged.  Charge
was framed for commission of offence  punishable  under  section  120-B  IPC
read  with  section  5(2)  of  PC  Act.  The  charge  framed  described  the
conspiracy to be agreeing of the various persons, including the persons  not
put on trial, to do or cause  to  be  done,  illegal  acts.  The  charge  of
conspiracy was not that the conspiracy was  entered  into  with  each  bogus
individual firm for the benefit of that firm alone in  connection  with  the
issue of licences to that particular firm. The charge was that  out  of  the
profits made from acts done  in  furtherance  of  the  conspiracy,  all  the
persons in the conspiracy were to benefit.  This  Court  observed  that  the
conspiracy was a general conspiracy to keep on issuing licence in the  names
of fictitious firms and to share the benefits arising out of those  licences
when no real independent person was the licensee. This Court  held  that  it
was not a case  of  conspiracy  with  respect  to  licences  issued  to  one
fictitious company. This Court has laid down thus:

           “The finding that the various firms to whom licences were issued
           were fictitious is not questioned. The conspiracy was a  general
           conspiracy  to  keep  on  issuing  licences  in  the  names   of
           fictitious firms and to share the benefits arising out of  those
           licences when no real independent person was the  licensee.  The
           various members of the conspiracy  other  than  the  two  public
           servants must have joined with the full knowledge of  the  modus
           operandi of the conspiracy and with the intention and object  of
           sharing the profits arising out of the acts of the conspirators.
           We do not therefore see that the mere fact  that  licences  were
           issued in the names of eight different companies  make  out  the
           case against the appellant and the other conspirators  to  be  a
           case of eight different conspiracies each with  respect  to  the
           licences issued to one particular fictitious company.”

       It is apparent that the case is quite distinguishable. In the instant
case different accused persons exist with the help of whom amount  has  been
withdrawn in different years. It is not a case that only a few  persons  had
benefited each and every year, when  the  facts  are  juxtaposed.  Thus,  it
would be a case of different offences. The decision has no  application  and
this Court was not concerned with the provisions of Article  20  or  section
300 Cr.PC and other provisions relating to separate trial contained  in  the

38.   Another decision relied  upon  by  learned  senior  counsel  is  Mohd.
Hussain Umar Kochra etc. v. K.S. Dalipsinghji & Anr. AIR  1970  SC  45.  The
facts indicate that 40 accused persons were at Bombay and other places  from
1.11.1956 to 2.2.1959 and were parties to a continuing criminal  conspiracy,
to acquire possession of, carry, remove deposit harbor, keep  concealed  and
deal in gold and knowingly to be concerned in  fraudulent  evasion  of  duty
chargeable on  gold  and  of  the  prohibition  and  restriction  applicable
thereto and committed an offence under section 120B IPC  read  with  section
167 (81) of Sea Customs Act, 1878. On other counts the accused persons  were
charged individually with offences punishable under section 167. The  scheme
was that necessary  finances  would  be  arranged,  remittances  to  foreign
countries would be made through Murad,  gold  would  be  sent  by  air  from
foreign countries to Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta  and  other  airports  and  the
smuggled gold would be sold in India. There  were  several  transactions  of
smuggling. In 1957,  other  accused  persons  joined  the  conspiracy.  From
February, 1958, seven or eight consignments of gold concealed  in  the  rear
left bathroom of the aircrafts were sent from Lori to  Bombay.  On  1.2.1959
the Rani of Jhansi consignment of gold was searched by customs  officers  at
the Santacruz airport Bombay and the gold was seized. It  was  urged  before
this Court  by  the  accused  persons  that  evidence  disclosed  number  of
conspiracies and charge of general conspiracy was not proved. It was  not  a
case of common conspiracy. This Court has laid down thus :

            “15. As to the second question  the  contention  was  that  the
           evidence disclosed a number of separate  conspiracies  and  that
           the charge  of  general  conspiracy  was  not  proved.  Criminal
           conspiracy as  defined  in  Section 120A of  the  I.P.C.  is  an
           agreement by two or more persons to do or cause to  be  done  an
           illegal act or an act which is not illegal by illegal means. The
           agreement and the breach  attracted  to  it  the  provisions  of
           Section 167(81) of is the gist  of  the  offence.  In  order  to
           constitute a single general conspiracy there must  be  a  common
           design and a common intention of all to work in  furtherance  of
           the common design. Each conspirator plays his separate  part  in
           one integrated and united effort to achieve the common  purpose.
           Each one is aware that he has  a  part  to  play  in  a  general
           conspiracy though he may not know all its secrets or  the  means
           by which the common purpose is  to  be  accomplished.  The  evil
           scheme may be promoted by a few, some may drop out and some  may
           join at a later stage, but the conspiracy continues until it  is
           broken up. The conspiracy  may  develop  in  successive  stages.
           There may be a general plan to accomplish the common  design  by
           such means as may from time to  time  be  found  expedient.  New
           techniques may be invented and new  means  may  be  devised  for
           advancement of the common plan. A  general  conspiracy  must  be
           distinguished from a number of separate  conspiracies  having  a
           similar general purpose. Where different groups of  persons  co-
           operate towards their separate ends  without  any  privity  with
           each other each combination constitutes a  separate  conspiracy.
           The common intention of the conspirators then is to work for the
           furtherance of the common design of his group  only.  The  cases
           illustrate the distinction between a single  general  conspiracy
           and a number of unrelated  conspiracies.  In  S.K.  Khetwani  v.
           State of Maharashtra ,S. Swaminatham v. State  Madras the  Court
           found   a   single   general   conspiracy   while   in   R.   v.
           Griffiths [1965] 2 All E.R. 448 the  Court  found  a  number  of
           unrelated and separate conspiracies.

           16. In the present case, there was a single  general  conspiracy
           to smuggle gold into India from foreign  countries.  The  scheme
           was operated by a gang of  international  crooks.  The  net  was
           spread over Bombay, Geneva, Beirut and Bahrein.  Yusuf  Merchant
           and Pedro Fernandes supplied the brain power,  Murad  Asharanoff
           remitted the funds, Lakshmandas Kochra  and  Rabiyabai  supplied
           the finances, Pedro Fernadez and the Shuhaibar brothers sent the
           gold from Geneva and the Middle East, carriers brought the  gold
           hidden in jackets, mechanics concealed  and  removed  gold  from
           aircrafts and others  helped  in  contacting  the  carriers  and
           disposing of the gold. Yusuf, Pedro and  Murad  and  Lakshmandas
           were permanent members of the conspiracy. They were joined later
           by Kochra, the Shuhaibar brothers and Lori and other associates.
           The original scheme was to  bring  the  gold  from  Geneva.  The
           nefarious design was extended to  smuggling  of  gold  from  the
           Middle East. There can be no doubt that the continuous smuggling
           of gold sent by  Pedro  from  Geneva  during  February  1956  to
           February 1958 formed part of a single conspiracy. The settlement
           of account between Yusuf and Pedro at Beirut  did  not  end  the
           original conspiracy.  There  can  also  be  no  doubt  that  the
           smuggling of gold from Beirut by the Shuhaibar brothers and from
           Bahrein by their agent Lori were different phases  of  the  same
           conspiracy. The main argument was that the despatch of gold from
           Geneva was the result of one conspiracy and that the despatch of
           gold from the Middle East was the result of another separate and
           unrelated conspiracy. The courts below held, and in our  opinion
           rightly, that there was a single  general  conspiracy  embracing
           all the activities. Pedro had a share  in  the  profits  of  the
           smuggling from Geneva. He got also a share  of  Yusuf's  profits
           from the smuggling of the Middle East gold. Apparently Shuhaibar
           brothers and Lori had no share in the profits from the smuggling
           of the Geneva gold but they attached themselves to  the  general
           conspiracy originally devised by Yusuf and Pedro with  knowledge
           of its scheme and purpose and took  advantage  of  its  existing
           organization for obtaining finances from  Kochra  and  Rabiyabai
           and for remittances of funds by Yusuf. Each conspirator profited
           from the general scheme and each one of them played his own part
           in the general conspiracy. The second contention is rejected.”

      This  Court  has  distinguished  general  conspiracy  from  number  of
separate conspiracies having a  similar  general  purpose.  Where  different
groups of  persons  co-operate  towards  their  separate  ends  without  any
privity  with  each  other,  each   combination   constitutes   a   separate
conspiracy.  It  was  held  that  in  the  case  there  was  single  general
conspiracy  to  smuggle  gold  into  India  from  foreign   countries.   The
contention raised was that separate conspiracies were raised by the  accused
in the facts of the said case. The facts are quite different in the  instant
case. The question which has come up for consideration did not arise in  the
aforesaid decision and this Court has  held  that  there  was  no  prejudice
caused to the accused persons by not making separate trials.

39.   The modus operandi being the same would not make it a  single  offence
when the  offences  are  separate.  Commission  of  offence  pursuant  to  a
conspiracy has to be punished.  If  conspiracy  is  furthered  into  several
distinct offences  there  have  to  be  separate  trials.  There  may  be  a
situation where in furtherance of general conspiracy,  offences  take  place
in various parts of India  and  several  persons  are  killed  at  different
times. Each trial has to be separately held and the accused to  be  punished
separately for the offence committed in furtherance of conspiracy.  In  case
there is only one trial for such conspiracy for separate offences, it  would
enable the accused person to go  scotfree  and  commit  number  of  offences
which is not the intendment of law. The concept is of ‘same  offence’  under
Article 20(2) and section 300 Cr.PC. In case  distinct  offences  are  being
committed there has to be independent trial for each of such  offence  based
on such conspiracy and  in  the  case  of  misappropriation  as  statutorily
mandated, there should not be joinder of charges in one trial for more  than
one year except as provided in section  219.  One  general  conspiracy  from
1988 to 1996 has led to various offences as such there have to be  different
trials for each of such offence based upon  conspiracy  in  which  different
persons have  participated  at  different  times  at  different  places  for
completion of the offence. Whatever  could  be  combined  has  already  been
done. Thus we find no merit  in  the  submissions  made  by  learned  senior
counsel appearing on behalf of accused persons.

40.   It was also submitted  by  learned  counsel  appearing  on  behalf  of
Sajal Chakraborty that the principle  of  issue  estoppel  is  attracted  to
criminal trial and has  relied  upon  decision  in  Manipur  Administration,
Manipur v. Thokchom Bira Singh AIR 1965 SC 87 in which it has been  observed
that the rule of issue estoppel in a criminal trial is that where  an  issue
of fact has been tried by a competent court  on  a  former  occasion  and  a
finding has been reached in favour of  an  accused,  such  a  finding  would
constitute estoppel against the prosecution. Said principle has been  merged
with the principle of Autrefois acquit as enshrined in  section  300  Cr.PC.
Learned counsel has also relied upon Assistant Collector of Customs,  Bombay
& Anr. v. L.R.Melwani AIR 1970 SC 962 in which this Court has observed  that
the issue estoppel rule is but a facet of the doctrine of Autrefois  acquit.
He has also referred to the decision of Supreme Court of the  Federation  of
Malaya in Sambasivan v. Public Prosecutor, reported in (1950) AC 458,  where
two charges were framed for carrying a firearm and being  in  possession  of
ammunition the appellant being acquitted on  the  second  charge  but  being
subject to a second trial for the first charge, the Privy Council held  that

            “The effect of a verdict of acquittal pronounced by a competent
           court on a lawful  charge  and  after  a  lawful  trial  is  not
           completely stated by saying that the person acquitted cannot  be
           tried again for the same offence.  To that it must be added that
           the  verdict  is  binding  and  conclusive  in  all   subsequent
           proceedings between the parties to the adjudication.”  (Emphasis

41.    In  Manipur  Administration  (supra)  this  Court  has  affirmed  the
decision in Pritam Singh v. The State of Punjab AIR 1956  SC  415  which  in
turn relied upon decision in Sambasivan (supra). Thus it was contended  that
CBI is barred from adducing evidence  in  respect  of  the  allegations  for
which the respondent Sajal Chakraborty has been  subsequently  acquitted  by
the High Court and the conviction recorded by the trial court has  been  set
aside. Finding had been recorded  by  the  High  Court  that  there  was  no
mechanism with the respondent to check  illegal  withdrawal  from  treasury.
Receiving of laptop and illegal gratification  has  not  been  proved  as  a
reward and the accused did not take any step to find  out  causes  of  heavy
withdrawal of Rs.50.56 lakhs in a single day by co-accused Dr. B.N.  Sharma.
Learned counsel has  further  submitted  that  earlier  there  was  no  such
practice  to  send  the  yearly  allocation  information   to   the   Deputy
Commissioner. Thus the CBI cannot try the  accused  on  the  basis  of  same
allegations de novo. There is no role  of  the  accused  in  preparation  of
different fake bills. The prosecution of the  respondent  is  for  the  same
offence in RC 20A/96 and RC 68A/96 for which he has already  been  acquitted
in RC No.51A/96. Learned counsel had also submitted that for  each  separate
bill, separate FIR  should  have  been  registered  in  case  CBI  stand  is
accepted. It was a series of acts forming part of the same  transaction.  It
is unclear as to which of the several offences related to each  bill  during
the tenure as District Collector was committed. Thus, there ought to be  one
trial only. Section 212 of Cr.PC  does  not  cover  those  facts  where  the
offence of criminal breach of trust has been clubbed  with  the  offence  of
criminal conspiracy under section 120-B IPC.

42.   Learned counsel has referred to decision in Emperor  v.  Jhabbar  Mull
Lakkar reported in (1922) ILR 49 Cal 924 wherein the  Court  has  laid  down
thus :

           “6. It is conceded by the earned  Counsel  for  the  prosecution
           that the evidence which would be given in respect of the present
           charges, would be identical with the evidence given against  the
           accused at the last Sessions, and  the  earned  Counsel  further
           informed me that the matter of the  alleged  false  entries  was
           investigated at the trial before my learned brother Mr.  Justice
           Walmsley and the Jury. In other words, it  was  a  part  of  the
           prosecution case, at the trial at the last Sessions,  that  the:
           accused had made the alleged false entries in the book  for  the
           purpose of a carrying out the alleged misappropriation, and with
           the intention of concealing his alleged breach of trust.

           7. Since the case was argued last Friday I have  considered  the
           matter, and I have come to the conclusion that, on the facts  of
           this case, the accused ought not to  be  put  on  his  trial  in
           respect of these charges. If he were so tried, in  my  judgment,
           it would in effect amount to  trying  him  again  for  the  same
           offences as those upon winch  he  has  already  been  tried  and
           acquitted by the Jury, although the charges now before the Court
           are framed in a different manner.

           8. Apart from this, I am not at present satisfied  that,  if  it
           had been thought advisable to lay before the Court at the  trial
           at the last Sessions, the facts as  constituting  offence  under
           Section 477A as well as offences under Section 408,  a  form  of
           procedure could  not  have  been  adopted  for  the  purpose  of
           carrying out such object.

           9. Under these circumstances, in my judgment, it  would  not  b;
           right to put the accused man on his trial for the second time in
           respect of the same evidence and in respect of the same  matters
           upon which he has already  been  unanimously  acquitted  by  the
           Jury.” (Emphasis Supplied)

      The said decision has no application to facts of the cases.

43.   The counsel has referred to State of Bombay  v.  Umarsaheb  Buransaheb
Inamdar AIR 1962 SC 1153 dealing with the bar in section 222 of Cr.PC,  1898
corresponding to section 212 of Cr.P.C., 1973 and section 235  of  old  Code
corresponding to section 220 of Cr.P.C. in which this Court has observed :

            “6. The charge could have been split up into two  charges,  one
           with  respect  to  the  offence  of  criminal  breach  of  trust
           committed with respect to be amount embezzled between  March  6,
           1949 and March 5, 1950 and the other with respect to the  amount
           embezzled between March 6, 1950  and  June  30,  1950.  The  two
           offences of criminal breach  of  trust  could  have  been  tried
           together in the present case, as the offences were said to  have
           been committed in pursuance of the criminal  conspiracy  entered
           into by the accused. All the offences committed in pursuance  of
           the  conspiracy  are  committed  in  the  course  of  the   same
           transaction and therefore can be tried together at one trial, in
           view of sub-s. (1) of s. 235 of the Code which provides that  if
           in one series of acts so connected together as to form the  same
           transaction, more offences than one are committed  by  the  same
           person, he may be charged with and tried at one trial for  every
           such offence. It is therefore clear that no prejudice was caused
           to the accused by the defect in the charge.” (Emphasis Supplied)

      The  question  of  amalgamation  and  joint  trial  had  already  been
concluded by this Court. The question of Autrefois acquit (double  jeopardy)
was not involved in the aforesaid decision.

44.   Gopal Prasad Sinha v. State of Bihar (1971) 2 SCR 619  has  also  been
relied upon for issue of estoppel.  The Court has laid down:

           “The basic principle underlying the rule  of  issue-estoppel  is
           that the same of fact and law must have been determined  in  the
           previous litigation. The question then arises : Was it the  same
           issue of fact which was determined  in  the  earlier  case  ?  A
           person may be acting as a cashier at one period and may  not  be
           acting as a cashier at another period,  especially  as  in  this
           case it was found that the appellant had never been appointed as
           a cashier. He was a temporary  senior  accounts  clerk  who  was
           alleged to be doing the work of  a  cashier.  If  there  is  any
           likelihood of  facts  or  conditions  changing  during  the  two
           periods which are under consideration then it  is  difficult  to
           say that the prosecution would be bound  by  the  finding  in  a
           previous trial on a similar issue of fact. It seems to  us  that
           the later finding must necessarily be in  contradiction  of  the
           previous determination. There can be no  such  contradiction  if
           the periods are different and the facts relating to the carrying
           on  of  the  duties  of  a  cashier  are  different.”  (Emphasis

      Submission of issue of estoppel is based on presupposition that  there
is no likelihood of facts or conditions changing in  different  years.  What
would be the facts and conditions cannot be said before trial. Duty  was  to
be performed at different times. Thus, the decision is of  no  utility.  The
decision does not support the cause espoused.

45.   In the case of Mills v. Cooper (1967) 2 QB 459, the  facts  were  that
the defendant was accused of illegally camping on the highway under  section
127 of the Highways Act, l959. One of the primary ingredients of such  crime
was being a ‘gipsy’. There  were  two  complaints  registered  against  him,
albeit on different dates. In the first case, he  was  accused  of  being  a
gipsy as on 22nd December, 1965 and he was acquitted. In  the  second  case,
he was accused of being a gipsy and illegally camping on 13th  March,  1966.
He took the plea of issue estoppel. Lord Parker, CJ & Lord Diplock,  J.  saw
it differently whilst disallowing the plea  of  issue  estoppel.  They  held
that the second case came later in time and  evidence  with  regard  to  his
status as on the later date cannot be estopped. Being  a  gipsy  was  not  a
permanent disposition. Lord Diplock held that issue  estoppel,  in  criminal
proceedings takes the form of the ‘rule against double  jeopardy’.  In  that
sense, issue estoppel  is  distinct  when  applied  to  civil  and  criminal
proceedings. In similar light, rejecting the application of  issue  estoppel
to the facts of that case, Lord Parker, CJ held:

      “I am by no  means  convinced,  for  reasons  into  which  I  find  it
unnecessary to go, that the doctrine as  applied  in  civil  cases  has  any
application in criminal cases at  all.  I  will,  however,  assume  for  the
purposes of this case that it has. Even so, I am satisfied that  it  has  no
application in the present case, since the issue determined on  the  earlier
occasion was that the defendant was not  a  gipsy  on  December  22,  1965,
whereas the issue to be determined on the second  occasion  was  whether  he
was a gipsy on March 13, 1966.”

46.   On the issue of estoppel, learned Solicitor General  has  relied  upon
Masur Khan v. State of U.P. (1974) 1 SCR 793 thus :

           “The Appellant pleaded on the  ground  of  issue  estoppel.  The
           issue was  regarding  his  citizenship.  Earlier,  he  had  been
           prosecuted by the SDM, Fatehpur u/s 14 of the Foreigners Act. He
           was then acquitted as not being a foreigner.  Now  he  had  been
           detained under Paragraph 5 of the Foreigners (Internment) Order,
           1962.  The  Court  dismissed  the  petition  and  therewith  the
           argument of issue estoppel: “Here again it is to  be  remembered
           that the principle applies to two criminal proceedings  and  the
           proceeding with which we are now concerned  is  not  a  criminal
           proceeding. We therefore hold that there is no substance in this
           The petition is dismissed.
           Whilst doing so, the Court retraced the jurisprudence on  issue-
           estoppel  starting  with  the  verdict  of  Lord  MacDermott  in
           Sambasivam v. Public, Prosecutor, Federation of Malaya, 1950 AC.
           458 as well as Pritam Singh v. State of Punjab (AIR 1956 SC 415)
           and Manipur Admn. v. T. Bira Singh (Supra).”

47.   With respect to issue of estoppel in R. v. Humphrys (1976) 2 AER  497,
Humphrys had previously been acquitted on a charge of driving  a  motorcycle
whilst being disqualified to do so. During his trial he  testified  that  he
hadn’t at all driven a motorcycle during that year  and  he  was  acquitted.
Later, it was found that he had lied leading to a charge of  perjury.  Their
Lordships were then faced  with  two  broad  issues:  first,  whether  issue
estoppel operated in criminal proceedings; second, even  if  issue  estoppel
was not recognised by the criminal law, was the  bringing  of  a  charge  of
perjury prevented by the generality of the double jeopardy doctrine? On  the
first issue,  the  one  that  was  being  addressed  there,  the  House  was
unequivocal in its view  that  issue  estoppel  had  no  place  in  criminal

48.   In Ravinder Singh v. Sukhbir Singh (2013) 9  SCC  245,  the  appellant
had  come  up  in  appeal  against  the  High  Court  order  dismissing  his
application for quashing of criminal proceedings initiated by R-1 under  SC,
ST  (Prevention  of  Atrocities)  Act,  1989.  The  dispute  was  over  some
agricultural land in Delhi over which multiple FIRs. and writs  were  filed.
Counsel for the appellant pleaded on the grounds of issue  estoppel  stating
that the issue had already been settled by the High  Court.  While  allowing
the appeal, this Court then drew a distinction between ‘issue-estoppel’  and
‘double jeopardy’ holding the former not to be a bar on a second  proceeding
but merely acting as estoppel qua prior findings.

49.   Thus, it is apparent that it is premature to raise the plea  of  issue
of estoppel before evidence is recorded for different  sets  of  accusations
of different offences for different periods. Then it  is  difficult  to  say
that prosecution would be bound by the finding in  a  previous  trial  on  a
similar issue of fact and there may not be any contradiction if the  periods
are different and with respect to  culpability  for  different  periods  and
without fear of contradiction, separate findings can be  recorded.  In  what
manner the duty has been carried on  for  different  periods  would  be  the
question of fact in each case and there is no question  of  double  jeopardy
in such a case.

50.   We are constrained to observe that the same learned Judge had taken  a
different view in Dr. R.K. Rana’s case on the basis of same facts, and  same
question of law in the same cases. Judicial discipline requires that such  a
blatant contradiction in such an important matter should have been  avoided.
The order passed in the case of Dr. R.K. Rana was on sound basis and  though
the court had noted that  there  was  some  overlapping  of  facts  but  the
offences were different, it, however, has taken  a  different  view  in  the
impugned order for the reasons  which  are  not  understandable.  The  court
ought to have been careful while dealing with such matters  and  consistency
is the hallmark of the court due to which people have faith  in  the  system
and it is not open to the court to take a different view in the same  matter
with reference to different accused persons  in  the  same  facts  and  same
case. Such inconsistent decision-making ought to have been  avoided  at  all
costs so as to ensure credibility of the system.  The  impugned  orders  are
palpably illegal, faulty and contrary to the basic  principles  of  law  and
Judge has ignored large number of binding  decisions  of  this  Court  while
giving impermissible benefit to the accused persons  and  delayed  the  case
for several years. Interference had been made at the advanced stage  of  the
case which was wholly unwarranted and uncalled for. Let now amends  be  made
by expediting the trial without any further hindrance from any quarter.

51.   Coming to the question of delay, we find that  there  is  a  delay  of
113, 157 and  222  days  in  filing  the  respective  appeals  by  the  CBI.
Applications have been filed for condonation of  delay  on  account  of  the
departmental, administrative procedures involved in for filing  the  special
leave petition.  It is  submitted  that  unlike  the  private  litigant  the
matters relating to the Government are required to be considered at  various
levels and then only a decision is taken to  file  special  leave  petition.
The process of referring the particular file from one department to  another
is a time consuming process and decisions have to be taken collectively.

52.   It was submitted  by  Shri  Ram  Jethmalani,  learned  senior  counsel
appearing on behalf of the respondents that delay of 157 days has  not  been
satisfactorily explained.  The averments made in  the  applications  seeking
condonation of delay are based upon earlier authorities which no longer  can
be said to be good law.  He has relied  upon  the  decisions  in  Postmaster
General & Ors. v. Living Media India Ltd. & Anr. (2012) 3 SCC 503 and  State
of U.P. thr. Exe. Engineer v.  Amar  Nath  Yadav  (2014)  2  SCC  422.   His
submission is that Law of Limitation binds everybody equally  including  the
Government and  defense  by  the  Government  of  impersonal  machinery  and
inherited bureaucratic methodology cannot be accepted in view of the  modern
technology being used and available; more so in the light of  the  aforesaid
decisions. Delay in moving files from  one  department  to  another  is  not
sufficient explanation for condoning abnormal delay.  Condonation  of  delay
is an exception and should not be used as an  anticipated  benefit  for  the
Government department.  The case was investigated by CBI from  beginning  to
end and the CBI Manual provides mechanism for filing  appeal  expeditiously.
The CBI was  bound  by  its  Manual  and  in  violation  of  the  provisions
contained in Manual without sufficient  explanation,  the  delay  cannot  be

53.   Reliance was also placed on Ajit Singh  Thakur  &  Anr.  v.  State  of
Gujarat 1981 (1) SCC 495, which has been approved  in  Pundlik  Jalam  Patil
(D) by Lrs. v. Exe. Engg. Jalgaon Medium Project & Anr. (2008)  17  SCC  448
that as per the  conduct  of  the  appellants  they  are  not  entitled  for
condonation of delay, more so, in view  of  the  decision  in  Binod  Bihari
Singh v. Union of India (1993) 1 SCC 572 as t*here  was  suppression  as  to
when the judgment was applied or  received.   CBI  Manual  has  a  statutory
force as held in Vineet Narain & Ors. v. Union of India & Anr. (1998) 1  SCC
226 and the guidelines as to time frame should have  been  strictly  adhered
to as observed by this Court.

54.   On the other hand, learned Solicitor General has submitted that  delay
deserves to be condoned.  He has relied upon the decision of this  Court  in
Japani Sahoo v. Chandra Sekhar Mohanty (2007) 7 SCC  394  in  which  it  has
been observed that in serious offences, prosecution is  done  by  the  State
and the court of law should not throw away prosecution solely on the  ground
of delay. Mere delay in approaching a court  of  law  would  not  by  itself
afford a ground for dismissing the case.  He has  also  referred  to  Sajjan
Kumar v. Union of India (2010) 9 SCC  368  to  contend  that  a  prosecution
should not be quashed merely on the  ground  of  the  delay.  The  aforesaid
decisions cited of Japani Sahoo and Sajjan Kumar  (supra) are  with  respect
to the delay in institution of the  case  not  with  respect  to  sufficient
cause in filing of appeals.  However, reliance on the State  of  Tamil  Nadu
v. M. Suresh Rajan (2014) 11 SCC 709 is apt in which the  time  consumed  in
taking opinion on change of Government was held to be  sufficient  cause  so
as to condone the delay.  Reliance  has  also  been  placed  on  Indian  Oil
Corporation Ltd. & Ors. v. Subrata Borah Chowlek, etc. (2010) 14 SCC 419  in
which there was a delay in filing  the  appeals  in  which  this  Court  has
observed that Section 5 owes no distinction between State and citizen.   The
Court has to ensure that owing to some  delay  on  part  of  the  machinery,
miscarriage of justice should not take place.  It  is  also  contended  that
the power under Section 5 of the  Limitation  Act  should  be  exercised  to
advance substantial justice by placing reliance  on  State  of  Nagaland  v.
Lipok AO & Ors. (2005) 3 SCC 752.

55.   In view of the averments made in the  applications  we  are  satisfied
that delay has been sufficiently explained and  considering  the  facts  and
circumstances of the case, gravamen of matter and also the  divergent  views
taken by the same Judge of the High  Court  in  the  same  case  vis  a  vis
different accused persons on same question, we consider it our duty  not  to
throw away petition on the ground of delay.  The explanation offered by  the
CBI of movement of file so as to condone the delay so  as  to  subserve  the
ends of justice, deserves to be accepted.  No doubt about it  that  the  CBI
ought to have acted with more circumspection and ought to have followed  the
CBI Manual. It is regrettable that we are receiving majority of the  special
leave petitions filed in this Court barred by limitation not only on  behalf
of the Government but also by the other private litigants.   Not  only  that
the special leave petitions are preferred with the  delay  but  in  refiling
also  enormous  time  is  consumed  and  this  Court  in  order  to  advance
substantial justice is not throwing away cases only on limitation.

56.   Sufficiency of cause has to be judged in a pragmatic manner so  as  to
advance cause of justice. No doubt about it that litigants are  supposed  to
act with circumspection within limitation  and  that  there  should  not  be
delay and laches and State machinery should not be differentiated vis a  vis
with the private individual in the matter of filing the  appeals,  petitions
etc., however, in the facts and circumstances of the  case  and  considering
the averments in the applications, we deem it  appropriate  to  condone  the
delay in filing the appeals in this court.

57.   In this case, we are surprised at the  conduct  of  the  CBI  in  such
important matters how such delay could take place.  The CBI  ought  to  have
been careful  in  filing  the  Special  Leave  Petitions  within  limitation
considering the factual matrix of the  case.   The  criticism  made  by  the
senior counsel for respondent is not wholly unjustified.  CBI  ought  to  be
guided by its Manual.  It is expected of it to be  more  vigilant.   It  has
failed to live up to its reputation.  In the instant case, lethargy  on  its
part is intolerable.  If CBI fails to act timely,  peoples’  faith  will  be
shaken in its effectiveness.  Let the Director of CBI look into  the  matter
and saddle the responsibility on a concerned  person.   In  important  cases
Director, CBI should devise methodology which should not  be  cumbersome  as
reflected in these cases, otherwise in future, Director, CBI  cannot  escape
the responsibility for delay in such cases to be termed as  deliberate  one,
which is  intolerable.  Being  the  head  of  the  institution  it  was  the
responsibility of the Director,  CBI  to  ensure  that  appeals  were  filed
within limitation. There should not have been delay in filing special  leave
petitions at all.

58.   Resultantly, we set aside the impugned judgments and orders passed  by
the High Court, allow the appeals and direct the trial  court  concerned  to
expedite the trial and to conclude the same as  far  as  possible  within  a
period of nine months from today.

                                                               (Arun Mishra)

                                                               (AMITAVA ROY)
MAY 08, 2017.

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