24 June 2024


Judgments

High Court of Bombay

The State of Maharashtra Vs. Chandrakant Trimbak Shirsath

MANU/MH/4492/2022

23.12.2022

Criminal

Presumption of innocence of accused is further reinforced by acquittal by the trial Court

Present appeal against acquittal is filed by the State challenging the judgment and order passed by the learned Special Judge and Additional Sessions Judge, acquitting the respondent from the offence punishable under Sections 7 and 13(1)(d) read with section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The judgment is mainly on the ground that the prosecution has not proved the guilt of the accused, the prosecution could not prove spot of incident where the trap was laid, there is no due verification done and there is variance between the witnesses so far as acceptance of the amount.

The Trial Court accepted the immediate explanation that was offered by the accused. It is further held that, the accused was working as Talathi and was not competent to sanction the mutation entries in the revenue record and thus, there was no question of demanding any amount for doing said work.

The Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of State of Rajasthan vs. Mohanlal has held that presumption of innocence of accused is further reinforced by acquittal by the Trial Court. In number of cases it is held by the Hon'ble Apex Court that while dealing with the appeals against acquittal, the Court has to be very cautious, though the Courts have power to appreciate the evidence afresh. Still, considerations while dealing with the appeals against acquittal and appeals against conviction stand totally on different footings.

While recording acquittal of the Court, the Court has rightly considered the evidence. Though the learned APP submits that in this case the learned Court below has not invoked presumption under section 20, this Court finds that to raise presumption, it was necessary to satisfy the principal condition that the acceptance of amount is pursuant to demand of bribe. Considering that in this case it is specifically brought on record in the cross that there was no demand by the accused at the time of trap and once the Trial Court has accepted that there is no demand of amount of bribe, there is no question of raising any presumption under Section 20 of Act. This Court finds that no illegality is committed by the Trial Court by accepting the evidence. When no case is made out to call interference in the judgment of acquittal, this Court need not interfere with the same. Appeal dismissed.

Tags : Innocence Acquittal Legality

Share :