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HC upholds CASSA cashier’s conviction

Published Nov 17, 2013, 8:20 pm IST
Updated Mar 18, 2019, 6:48 pm IST
High Court upholds CASSA cashier’s prison term for 3 years.
Picture for representational purpose only.
 Picture for representational purpose only.
BengaluruWhile working as a cashier in one of the premier defence establishment - Centre for Aeronautical Systems Studies and Analysis (CASSA) under Ministry of Defence, DRDO, M.M. Vijayaraghavan’s major responsibility was to handle the establishment’s cash, but he embezzled them for personal gain.
He managed to siphon off almost Rs 4 lakh, before the law caught up with him. According to the CBI, he was misappropriating funds entrusted to him to be deposited to bank through Military Receivable Orders (MROs).
To avoid detection, he procured fake rubber stamp from the State Bank of India, where the money was to be deposited. He would to affix a fake seal on the MROs and forge signatures of bank officials.
The CBI had charged him with misusing his office as a public servant. As the prosecution was able to prove charges against Vijayaraghavan in the lower court, he was sentenced to three years in prison.
He approached the HC challenging the order. However, the HC upheld the conviction. It observed, “The prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that accused, being cashier of CASSA, is guilty of criminal misconduct, having abused his office to misappropriate funds for his own use.” 
It was also charged that the cashier, while working as an Upper Division Clerk (UDC) in CASSA had falsified entries in the cash register and destroyed two out of four copies of MROs.
The CASSA director had also granted the accused a special pay of Rs 40 per month. His main duties were to receive and disburse cash; prepare MROs and remit cash to the CASSA bank account. CASSA officials are deputed to various places and paid T.A. and D.A in advance. When their work is complete, they return the excess money.
The accused was issuing receipts, used to make entries in the cash book and prepare MROs in quadruplicate.
After obtaining counter signatures from the CASSA officials, the accused was entrusted with remitting the amount under MROs to account of CASSA maintained with State Bank of India.
In order to cover up his criminal act the accused had destroyed two copies of MROs and also destroyed fake rubber stamp he had used to forge MROs.
Location: Karnataka