26 May 2020


Judgments

Supreme Court

Vinod Kumar Garg Vs. State (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi)

MANU/SC/1635/2019

27.11.2019

Criminal

A mere error, omission or irregularity in sanction is not fatal unless it has resulted in a failure of justice

The impugned judgment passed by the High Court upholding conviction of the Appellant under Sections 7 and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 imposed by the Special Judge, Delhi vide judgment is challenged in present case. The Appellant has been sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for one and a half years, and fine of Rs. 1,000 for each offence and in default of payment to undergo simple imprisonment for three months on both counts separately. The sentences have been directed to run concurrently.

In the case at hand, the condition precedent to drawing legal presumption that, the Accused has demanded and was paid the bribe money has been proved and established by the incriminating material on record. Thus, the presumption under Section 20 of the Act becomes applicable for the offence committed by the Appellant under Section 7 of the Act. The Appellant was found in possession of the bribe money and no reasonable explanation is forthcoming that may rebut the presumption. Further, the recovery of the money from the pocket of the Appellant has also been proved without doubt. Money was demanded and accepted not as a legal remuneration but as a motive or reward to provide electricity connection to Nand Lal (PW-2) for the shed.

In the present case, Navin Chawla (PW-1) had issued and granted sanction for prosecution of the Appellant. He had deposed that, the Appellant was working as an inspector in DESU and he was the competent officer to remove him. He had, after carefully examining the allegations contained in the material placed before him, granted the sanction for prosecution vide order.

Present Court in Ashok Tshering Bhutia v. State of Sikkim, has observed that a defect or irregularity in investigation however serious, would have no direct bearing on the competence or procedure relating to cognizance or trial. Where the cognizance of the case has already been taken and the case has proceeded to termination, the invalidity of the precedent investigation does not vitiate the result, unless a miscarriage of justice has been caused thereby. Similar is the position with regard to the validity of the sanction. A mere error, omission or irregularity in sanction is not considered to be fatal unless it has resulted in a failure of justice or has been occasioned thereby. The conviction of the Appellant under Sections 7 and 13 of the Act and the sentences as imposed is upheld. Appeal dismissed.

Relevant

Ashok Tshering Bhutia v. State of Sikkim MANU/SC/0156/2011

Tags : Conviction Legality

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