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electricity theft case = by mistake represented that the accused has undergone 8 months imprisonment against the one month sentence-There was at any rate no intention of misleading this Court or obtaining an order by misrepresentation of facts.=the appellant has 5

 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
The supreme court of india. Taken about 170 m ...

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 CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION



 CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS.1870-1871 of 2010




Vaithi @Vaithianathan ...Appellant



 Versus



State of Tamil Nadu ...Respondent





 O R D E R



T.S. THAKUR, J.





1. Criminal Appeals No.1870-1871 of 2010 disposed of by an 


order of this Court dated 27th September, 2010 arose out of an 


order passed by the Trial Court in CC No.259 and 260 of 2002 


convicting the appellant of an offence of theft of electricity and 


sentencing him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period 


of one month and a fine of Rs.500/-. In default of payment of 


the fine, the appellant was directed to undergo simple 



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imprisonment for a further period of 15 days in both the cases. 


The sentences were ordered to run concurrently. 





2. At the hearing of the appeals, it was argued on behalf of 


the appellant that the appellant had already undergone eight 


months of imprisonment and yet continued to be in jail even 


when the sentence awarded to him was only for a period of 


one month. It was in that backdrop that this Court directed an 


enquiry into the matter by the High Court and called for a 


report on the subject. 





3. From the report received pursuant to the above direction, 


it appears that the appellant had undergone a sentence of 13 


days only and that the allegation that he had been in jail for 


eight months was factually incorrect. The report sets out the 


dates on which the appellant was taken into custody and 


released on bail.




4. When the matter came up on 16th September, 2011, this 


Court felt that appellant had made a factually wrong statement 


that he had undergone eight months' imprisonment. A copy of 



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the report was accordingly directed to be furnished to the 


counsel for the appellant for filing his response to the same. 


In compliance with the said direction, the learned counsel for 


the appellant has filed his reply from which it appears that the 


statement regarding the period already undergone by him was 


made on the basis of a communication sent by the 


Superintendent of Central Prison, Cuddalore to the Inspector 


Police Kuthallam, Police Station, Nagapattinam District. A 


copy of the said communication, it appears was furnished to 


the learned counsel for the appellant by the Supreme Court 


Legal Services Committee. The said letter was placed by the 


learned counsel alongwith the SLP paper book in support of his 


plea that the appellant was not required to surrender as he 


had already undergone imprisonment from 26th July, 2004 till 


7th May, 2005. The SLP was on that basis numbered and listed 


before this Court. 





5. Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that the 


statement made before this Court suggesting that the 


appellant had already undergone eight months' imprisonment, 


was entirely based on the communication mentioned above. In 

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support he relied upon an English translation of the relevant 


portion of the letter in question which reads as under:





 "Pursuant to the order, the above convict underwent 

 imprisonment from 26.7.2004. Subsequently as per 

 the order made in C.A No.72/04, 73/04 Dt.29.4.2005, 

 he has been released on bail and basing on the bail 

 bond No.1145 Dt.5.5.05 he has been released from this 

 prison on 7.5.2005."




6. It was further submitted that although the statement was 


found to be factually incorrect by the High Court in terms of 


the enquiry report submitted by it, the error was referable 


entirely to the communication which was taken by the counsel 


as a credible official document. There was at any rate no 


intention of misleading this Court or obtaining an order by 


misrepresentation of facts.


 


7. The appeal in question was filed through the Supreme 


Court Legal Services Committee. Learned counsel appearing 


on behalf of the appellant was also engaged by the Committee 


only. The requisite documents for filing of the appeal also 


appear to have been furnished to the counsel by the office of 


the Committee. The communication to which we have referred 



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above was one of the documents that was furnished to the 


counsel for the appellant and formed part of the SLP paper 


book. The original of the communication is in Tamil. The 


correctness of the English translation was verified by this 


Court with the help of a Tamil knowing member of the Bar and 


found to be accurate. Relevant paragraph from the 


communication which we have extracted above does create an 


impression that the appellant was taken into custody on 26th 


July, 2004 and released only on 7th May, 2005. This period 


works out clearly `eight months'. Learned counsel for the 


appellant was, therefore, misled into making a statement that 


the appellant had undergone eight months' imprisonment on a 


bonafide assumption which was on further enquiry not found 


to be factually correct. In the circumstances we do not 


consider it necessary to issue any further direction in the 


matter based on the report received from the High Court.


 


8. The only other question is whether we ought to recall the 


order passed by us in the appeal upholding the conviction of 


the appellant and reducing the sentence awarded to him to the 


period already undergone. As noticed above, the appellant has 

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undergone 13 days' sentence as against one month's 


imprisonment awarded to him. Having regard to the 


circumstances of this case and keeping in view the fact that 


the offence in question was committed nearly 10 years back 


the period already undergone by the appellant should, in our 


opinion, suffice.





9. In the light of what we have stated above, while we 


accept the report received from the High Court, we close these 


proceedings without any further directions in the matter. 





 ...................................J.

 (CYRIAC JOSEPH)





 ...................................J.

New Delhi (T.S. THAKUR)

November 14, 2011





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