In The Court Of Special Railway Magistrate, Tinsukia


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IN THE COURT OF SPECIAL RAILWAY MAGISTRATE, TINSUKIA Judgement of Case.No. SR/CR – 170/13 RPF/POST/DBRG Case No.06/13
U/S 143 Railway Act Present: A. A. Choudhury, A.J.S
N.F Raliway VERSUS Krishna Kumar Mishra S/O. Madan Mishra, Lahan Patty, Paltan Bazar. P.O. Jallan Nagar, P.S. Barbari. Dibrugarh, Assam. .... Accused

Evidence recorded on:
Argument Heard on: Judgement delivered on: Ld. Counsel for the Railways: Ld. Defence Counsel:

22.04.14, 05.09.14, 23.09.14, 29.11.14, 18.02.15, 19.01.15, 06.05.15, 29.05.15.
07.07.15 21.07.15 Md. Arif., P.P. N.F., Rly. Md. Azizullah.

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J U D G M E N T AND O R D E R
1. The prosecution story in a nutshell is that on 13.05.2013 at about 10:05 hours during a surprise checking conducted at PRS/Dibrugarh by the complainant, Sri. Mahaveer Singh SIPF/RPF/DBRG alongwith Brijesh Kumar Meena CB/RPF/DBRG, one person was noticed purchasing railway tatkal tickets time and again in a suspicious manner from Counter No. 3 of PRS/DBRG. The suspected person was apprehended and 04 nos Tatkal Railway tickets were found from him – 02 nos of Train No,. 12526 bearing PNR No. 651-9817068, 621-9817509 and 651-9816789 of Train No. 15695 and 621-9816764 of Train No. 15933. Also a sum of Rs. 1090/- was also found from his possession. On asking the person, the apprehended person failed to produce any legal document/authority for purchasing the said railway tickets and further stated that he purchases railway tickets for others by charging money. Accordingly, the complainant seized the aforesaid tatkal tickets from possession of the accused persons at about 10:20 hours vide a seizure list. On further asking the person, he identified himself as one Krishna Kumar Mishra, S/o. Madan Mishra of Lahan Patty, Paltan Bazar, P.O. Jallan Nagar, P.S. Barbari, Dibrugarh, Assam. Thereafter, the complainant lodged a written complaint against the arrested person before the IPF/RPF/DBRG which was registered vide Case No. 06/13 U/s 143 Railways Act against the accused person and case was endorsed to ASI/B. B. Deori for enquiry and report.
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2. On culmination of enquiry, Prosecution Report was filed on 09.09.2013 vide PR/No. 06/13 U/s. 143 of the Railways Act against the accused person, Krishna Kumar Mishra.
3. During the trial, prosecution side examined as many as 06 (six) Prosecution Witnesses (PWs) whereas the defense side did not adduce any defence witness except for statement in defense U/S 313 of the Code of Criminal procedure wherein accused person denied the allegations and submitted that he is a student of Dibrugarh College and on 13.05.13, he went to PRS for purchasing a ticket for his father and was also carrying a copy of Pan Card with him. Accused person also stated that his signature was taken on blank paper. When particulars of the charge U/S 143 of the Railways Act, 1989 was read over and explained to the accused person, the accused person pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried and so case proceeded against him.
4. In brief, the defense side pleading is that the ingredients to constitute an offence U/s 143 of the Railways Act, 1989 are lacking in the facts of this case and as such the said provision of law does not attract in the instant case. Another ground raised by the defence is that the seized railway reservation tickets as well as the requisition forms were not recovered from the accused person
5. Points for determination:
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(i) Whether the accused Krishna Kumar Mishra was carrying on the business of procuring and supplying railway tickets for journey in train? (ii) Whether accused Krishna Kumar Mishra purchases or sells or attempts to purchase or sell railway tickets for business purpose? (iii) Whether the seized railway reservation tickets and requisition forms were found in possession of the accused? (iv) Whether the accused is found to be guilty of the offence charged? Decision thereon and Reasons for the decision;
6. PW 1, the complainant in his evidence deposed that on on 13.05.2013 at about 10:05 hours during a surprise checking conducted at PRS/Dibrugarh alongwith Brijesh Kumar Meena CB/RPF/DBRG, one person was noticed purchasing railway tatkal tickets time and again in a suspicious manner from Counter No. 3 of PRS/DBRG. The suspected person was apprehended and 04 nos Tatkal Railway tickets were found from him – 02 nos of Train No,. 12526 bearing PNR No. 651-9817068, 621-9817509 and 651-9816789 of Train No. 15695 and 6219816764 of Train No. 15933. Also a sum of Rs. 1090/- was found from his possession. On asking the person, the apprehended person failed to produce any legal document/authority for purchasing the said railway tickets and further stated that he purchases railway tickets for others by charging money. Accordingly, PW 1 seized the aforesaid tatkal tickets from possession of the accused persons in front of Counter No. 3 vide a seizure list. On further asking
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the person, he identified himself as one Krishna Kumar Mishra, S/o. Madan Mishra of Lahan Patty, Paltan Bazar, P.O. Jallan Nagar, P.S. Barbari, Dibrugarh, Assam. Thereafter, PW 1 lodged a written complaint against the arrested person before the IPF/RPF/DBRG. PW 1 also stated that he had seized the requisition forms against which the 04 nos seized tatkal tickets were issued from Counter No. 3 submitted by the accused person. 7. In his cross examination, PW 1 stated that he is the complainant as well as the seizing officer in this case and has done preliminary enquiry into the case. PW 1 stated that copy of Identity card of passenger is to be submitted alongwith the requisition form for issuance of tatkal tickets. PW 1 on being shown a requisition form stated that there is a column/space in the form for either signature of the applicant or the representative. PW 1 stated that the same requisition form is used for general as well as tatkal tickets. PW 1 stated that he does not know the person signing the requisition form which i M. Ext – 6. 8. PW 2 deposed in his evidence that on 13.05.13 at about 13:00 hours SI/RPF/DBRG, Sri. Mahabeer Singh came to the booking counter and seized 04 nos requisition form against which 04 nos Tatkal seva tickets from Sri. Suranjan Mech/ECRC which tickets were issued to the accused person. The sais seizure was made vide a seizure list where PW 2 signed as a witness. In his cross examination, PW 2 stated that 04 nos tatkal tickets were seized by the complainant in his presence.
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9. PW 5 in his evidence deposed that on 13.05.13 he was performing duty at reservation counter/DBRG from 08:00 hours to 14:00 hours. PW 5 stated that for obtaining tatkal seva tickets a copy of photo identity card of passenger is required. PW 5 stated that on that day Sri. Mahaveer Singh seized 04 nos requisition forms and 04 nos corresponding copies of photo identity card pertaining to 04 nos tatkal tickets. The same were seized by SI/Mahaveer Singh where PW 5 signed as a witness.
10. In his cross examination, PW 5 stated that Tatkal tickets cannot be issued without any copy of identity card of passenger and that any person can collect Tatkal ticket who carries identity card for other passengers. PW 5 also stated that he does not know as to who has received the 04 nos tatkal tickets.
11. From the above discussion it appears that a representative of the passenger can purchase tatkal ticket provided he furnishes a copy of his photo identity card to that representative.
12. PW 3 in his evidence deposed that on 13.05.13 he accompanied SI/Mahaveer Singh to PRS/DBRG where ECRC/Suranjan Mech was asked to produce requisition form corresponding to the seized 04 nos tatkal tickets and the same were seized by SI/Mahaveer Singh vide Seizure List II where PW 3 signed as a witness. In his cross examination, PW 3 stated that in Seizure List No. II (Ext. 2) there is no signature of accused person. PW 3 also stated that the complainant SI/Mahaveer Singh informed him that the requisition forms were
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filled by the accused person. PW 3 also stated that he did not see the accused person filling up the form.
13. PW 4 deposed in his evidence that on 13.05.13 he accompanied SI/Mahaveer Singh to PRS/DBRG and on reaching they noticed one person purchasing railway tatkal tickets time and again in a suspicious manner from Counter No. 3 of PRS/DBRG. The suspected person was apprehended and 04 nos Tatkal Railway tickets were found from him and a sum of Rs. 1090/- was also found from his possession. On asking the person, the apprehended person failed to produce any legal document/authority for purchasing the said railway tickets and further stated that he purchases railway tickets for others by charging money. Then, PW 1 seized the aforesaid tatkal tickets from possession of the accused persons vide a seizure list where PW 4 signed as a witness. On further asking the person, he identified himself as one Krishna Kumar Mishra, S/o. Madan Mishra of Lahan Patty, Paltan Bazar, P.O. Jallan Nagar, P.S. Barbari, Dibrugarh, Assam. Thereafter, the accused person was brought to the RPF/DBRG where statement of accused was recorded by ASI/B. B. Deori and PW 4 signed the stamenet as a witness.
14. In his cross examination, PW 4 stated that all the seized tickets were purchased under tatkal scheme at about 10:15 to 10:20 hours on 13.05.13. PW 4 stated that he does not remembers the number of requisition form seized from the accused person. PW 4 also stated that he does not remembers the
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PNR No. of the seized tickets. PW 4 stated that no copy of Seizure list (Ext. 1) was furnished to the accused person.
15. PW 6, the Enquiry Officer of the case deposed in his evidence that on a complaint being lodged by SI/Mahaveer Singh, the same was registered as a case vide Case No. 06/13 U/S 143 Railway Act against accused Krishna Kumar Mishra and was endorsed to him for conducting enquiry and report. PW 6 stated that he recorded statement of accused in presence of CT/B. K. Meena where accused person has confessed his guilt of the offence. PW 6 also stated that he also recorded statement of Sri. Suranjan Mech, the than on-duty ECRC and of other witnesses. PW 6 further deposed that he seized the corresponding 04 nos requisition forms against which the 04 nos seized tatkal tickets were issued. Then, on completion of enquiry, PW 6 filed the Prosecution Report vide P.R. No. 06/13 dated 09.09.13 U/S 43 Railway Act against accused Krishna Kumar Mishra.
16. In his cross examination, PW 6 stated that there is a column/space in the requisition forms for either signature of the applicant or of the representative and that a representative can also purchase railway ticket on behalf of passengers. PW 6 stated that he had seized a copy of identity card of the prospective passenger, but did not examine him during enquiry of the case. PW 6 stated that without a copy of the identity card of passenger, tatkal ticket is not issued. PW 6 also stated that he did not enquire form the prospective passengers whether accused charged any extra money or not.
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17. On perusal of the Case Record it is seen that M. Ext 1 – M. Ext 4 are the seized tatkal tickets bearing PNR No. 621-9817509, 651-9817068, 621-9816764 and 651-9816789 respectively. M. Ext 10 – M. Ext 13 are the seized corresponding requisition forms against the tickets. M. Ext 10 does not bear the name of applicant but one initial appears at the bottom column of signature of applicant. Similarly, in other requisitions forms, the name of the passenger appears as the name of applicant alongwith an initial at the concerned columns.
18. From the aforesaid paragraphs, it emerges that the Enquiry Officer has not enquired the prospective passengers whose name is mentioned in the corresponding requisition forms - M. Ext 10 – M. Ext 13, where details like address and mobile phone numbers are also mentioned and hence PW 6, the Enquiry Officer stated in his cross examination that he did not enquire form the prospective passengers whether accused charged any extra money or not. The essential ingredient to constitute an offence U/S 143 Railway Act, in my opinion is, inter alia - carrying on the business of procuring and supplying tickets, or, purchase or sell or attempt to purchase or sell tickets with a view to carrying on any such business. But in this case, the business aspect has not been enquired into by the Enqury Officer, yet the prosecution relies solely on Ext. 4, the statement of accused person recorded by the Enquiry Officer of the case, wherein it is stated that the accused person has confessed that for earning income he has indulged in such activity. The ld. Defence counsel submits that there is no independent witness present at the time of recording of statement of accused person and hence the same may not be relied upon. In my opinion, apart from the contents of Ext. 4, there are no materials on record to suggest that the accused person was making profit by purchasing or selling railway reservation tickets and therefore, in the absence of any other corroborating material to this effect, the Court is not inclined to rely solely on the statement of the accused person incriminating himself which is recorded by the Enquiry Officer in the absence of any independent witness.
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19. Another aspect of the case is that, as to who can collect/obtain a tatkal reservation ticket. Is it the passenger himself who can purchase or any representative so authorised by such passenger can also purchase/collect the ticket. In this regard, PW 5, the ECRC [Enqiry cum Reservation Clerck], Dibrugarh, in his cross examination stated that any person can collect Tatkal ticket who carries identity card of the passengers. He also stated that Tatkal tickets cannot be issued without any copy of identity card of passenger. In this regard, the Enquiry Officer PW 6 in his cross examination stated that there is a column/space in the requisition forms for either signature of the applicant or of the representative and hence a representative can also purchase railway ticket on behalf of passengers. From the above deposition of both the witnesses – one being Railway reservation clerk and other being Enquiry Officer who is an ASI of RPF, this Court is of the opinion that a bonafide representative can also purchase railway reservation/tatkal ticket for another passenger. Lastly, PW 5 who is the reservation clerk who actually issued the 04 nos seized tickets stated in his cross examination that he does not know as to who has received the 04 nos tatkal tickets.
20. As a result, issue no. (i) Whether the accused Krishna Kumar Mishra was carrying on the business of procuring and supplying railway tickets for journey in train and (ii) Whether accused Krishna Kumar Mishra purchases or sells or attempts to purchase or sell railway tickets for business purpose is answered in
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In The Court Of Special Railway Magistrate, Tinsukia