MANU/SC/0156/2011

True Court CopyTM English

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

Criminal Appeal No. 945 of 2003

Decided On: 25.02.2011

Appellants: Ashok Tshering Bhutia Vs. Respondent: State of Sikkim

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
P. Sathasivam and B.S. Chauhan

JUDGMENT

B.S. Chauhan, J.

1. This appeal has been preferred against the judgment and order dated 11.12.2002 passed by the High Court of Sikkim at Gangtok in Criminal Appeal No. 4 of 2002, upholding the judgment and order dated 30.5.2002, passed by the Special Judge, Prevention of Corruption Act, Gangtok in Criminal Case No. 4 of 1997, convicting the Appellant for the offences punishable under Section 13(2) read with Section 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (hereinafter called as PC Act 1988) and awarding him the sentence of 3 years RI and a fine of Rs. 10,000/-, in default thereof, to undergo a further RI for six months.

2. Facts and circumstances giving rise to appeal are as under:

(A) The Appellant joined the Special Branch of Police in the State of Sikkim as a Constable in 1972. He was accorded promotion to the rank of Head Constable in 1976, and was subsequently promoted on an ad hoc basis to the post of Inspector in 1987. His services were attached to the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Sikkim in 1987. The Appellant was repatriated to his parent department, i.e. the Reserve Line, in 1994.

(B) An FIR dated 5.1.1996 was registered against the Appellant by the DSP, CBI (ACB) under Section 13(2) r/w Section 13(1)(e) of the PC Act 1988, alleging that the Appellant was in possession of disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs. 6,46,805/- and had accumulated the same between 1987 to 1995.

(C) The Appellant received the office memorandum dated 5th/31st August, 1996 from the Superintendent of Police, Police Headquarters, Gangtok, directing him to give a consolidated statement of the immovable properties inherited and/or owned or acquired by him in his name or in the name of any member of his family during the period from 1987 to 1995, as per the requirements of statutory provisions in the Sikkim Government Servants Conduct Rules, 1981 (hereinafter called Rules 1981).

(D) The Appellant submitted the required information vide document Ext. D-4 on 10.9.1996 giving full details of the properties acquired and possessed by him. The Director General of Police, Sikkim granted sanction on 5.4.1997, under the provisions of Section 19(1)(c) of the PC Act 1988 to prosecute the Appellant under Section 13(2) r/w Section 13(1)(e) of the PC Act 1988.

(E) The charge sheet was submitted against the Appellant on 23.4.1997, alleging that he was found in possession of the assets dis-proportionate to his known sources of income, to the tune of Rs. 18,25,098.69, which had been acquired by him, abusing his official post during the period from 1.4.1987 to 10.1.1996.

(F) The learned Special Judge vide order dated 18.6.1998 came to the conclusion that there was a prima facie case against the Appellant to try him for the aforesaid charges.

(G) Being ag........