State of Maharashtra vs Mohammed Yakub case states that mere intention cannot be sufficient grounds to prove a person guilty. To convict a person, the completion of an attempt must be done. Section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872 states the difference between oral and documentary evidence and other types of evidence. Section 135(a) of the Custom act states that if a person makes an export of any good and goes beyond the line of culpability, then such a person will be punished with imprisonment which may be extended to 3 years or with a fine or with both.
Supreme Court of India
1980 AIR 1111 1980 SCR (2)1158 1980 SCC (3) 57
March 4th, 1980
Hon’ble Justice R.S. Sarkaria, Hon’ble Justice Ranjit Singh, Hon’ble Justice Chinnappa Reddy
RELEVANT ACT AND SECTION:
- Section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872, which states definition of evidence.
- Section 5 of the Import and Export Control Act 1947
- Section 135(a) of the Customs Act, 1962 states the provision related to evasion of duty
- Section 511 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 which states the punishment for attempting the offence punishable with life imprisonment or other imprisonment.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
- Custom department got an intelligence report silver will be transported in a jeep and truck from Mumbai to Bassein.
- Investigation team able to spot the vehicle on national highway number 8, which was heading towards Bassein. After travelling some distance, both the vehicles left the road to Bassein and start heading towards a village namely Kaman.
- Both the vehicles stopped near a bridge and start removing some bundles.
- Investigation team got there and caught all the people. They found 4 silver ingots near the footpath and total 39 silver ingots were found in dust bags.
- Additional Session Court held it was just mere a preparation. If ingots were loaded on the boat, then this will amount to attempt and acquitted the accused. State of Maharashtra appealed in the High Court, High Court dismissed the petition because fact which were proved by the prosecution do not have any evidentiary value.
Considering the facts and circumstances, has the accused attempted to export the silver unlawfully outside India?
Supreme Court set aside the judgment of the High Court and held that considering the facts and circumstances accused had an intention to export the silver outside India by unlawful means. Therefore, the accused was held liable under section 135(a) of the Customs Act, 1962 read with section 5 of Import and Exports (Control) Act, 1947.
- Malkiat Singh &Anr. v. State of Punjab (1962) 2 SCR 241
- Abhayanand Mishra vs State of Bihar (1969) 2 SCR 663
The court concluded that merely preparation does not amount to an offence until and unless it is completed or attempted.
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