HC upholds conviction in Coffee board fund case

The Kerala High Court has confirmed the conviction of the five accused in a case relating to misappropriation of funds from the accounts of the Coffee Board, Kerala.

The court, however, substituted the life imprisonment awarded by the CBI special court, Ernakulam, with fines.

The prosecution case was that the first accused, N. Chandrasekharan Nair (since dead) while working as assistant manager of the coffee pool depot, Thodupuzha, from May 1985 to August 1986, had hatched a criminal conspiracy with the other accused and allegedly misappropriated a sum of ₹2,27,029.60.

The CBI special court had found all the accused guilty of various offences, convicted and imposed sentences of imprisonment of varying periods and a fine.

Substituting life imprisonment with fine, the court observed that there were sufficient material to hold that the accused had committed the offences. However, the incidents happened during 1985-86 and the accused were convicted after a long drawn trial in 2004. Appeals against the conviction and sentencing had been pending since then.

Meanwhile, two of the accused had died. Besides, all the accused were considerably aged now and had been undergoing trauma for the past several years.

The court, therefore, took a lenient view and ordered that all the substantive sentences in all the cases shall stand substituted with fine.

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Printable version | Jun 12, 2022 1:13:38 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/hc-upholds-conviction-in-coffee-board-fund-case/article65419664.ece