14 October 2019


Judgments

High Court of Patna

Jai Kumar Jain Vs. Union of India

MANU/BH/1703/2018

30.08.2018

Criminal

Only recovery of tainted money is not sufficient for conviction, rather prosecution has to prove the demand, acceptance and illegal gratification

Sole Appellant has preferred present appeal against the judgment and order by which the Appellant has been convicted under Section 5(2) read with Section 5(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for two years and a fine of Rs. 10,000 with default clause. Issue involved in present case is whether conviction of Appellant was sustainable.

As per Section 5(2) read with Section 5(1)(d) of Act, the demand, acceptance and recovery are the ingredients for conviction and it is well settled that only recovery of tainted money is not sufficient for conviction, rather prosecution has to prove the demand, acceptance and illegal gratification.

In the case of Punjabrao vs. State of Maharashtra, Hon'ble Apex Court has held that, it is well settled that, in a case where the accused offers an explanation for receipt of the alleged amount, the question that arises for consideration is whether that explanation can be said to have been established.

In the present case, so far demand, acceptance and recovery are concerned, the Appellant has also not denied the demand, acceptance and recovery. However, the defence story is that, the money was demanded for arranging blood and transfusion technician and that was not the gratification as the blood was not available in the hospital. In the statement under Section 313 of CrPC, the defence of the Appellant is that, the demand was made for arranging blood and suggestion has also been given to all the defence witnesses to that effect and as such the only question arises as to whether the demand was for arranging blood or it was a gratification. If it is for arranging the blood then there is plausible explanation by the defence for acceptance of Rs. 450 from the complainant.

A plausible explanation has been given by the Appellant for acceptance of Rs. 450 and the same can be accepted on the basis of preponderance of probability. As such, prosecution has failed to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubts and the Appellant is entitled to the benefit of doubt. The appeal is allowed.

Relevant

Punjabrao vs. State of Maharashtra : MANU/SC/1480/2001

Tags : Illegal Gratification Conviction Legality

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