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Criminal Appeal No. 1781 of 2009

Decided On: 27.11.2019

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

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Indu Malhotra and Sanjiv Khanna


Sanjiv Khanna, J.

1. The impugned judgment dated 7th January 2009 passed by the High Court of Delhi upholds conviction of Vinod Kumar Garg ('the Appellant', for short) Under Sections 7 and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 ('the Act', for short) imposed by the Special Judge, Delhi vide judgment dated 27th March 2002. 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.

2. Challenging the conviction, the learned senior advocate for the Appellant submits that there are major contradictions on material aspects in the testimonies of the complainant Nand Lal (PW-2) and the panch witness Hemant Kumar (PW-3). Nand Lal (PW-2) in his court testimony recorded on 9th July 1999 had denied to having paid any money to the Appellant prior to lodging of the complaint, but in his complaint (Exhibit PW-2/A) dated 2nd August 1994, Nand Lal (PW-2) had alleged that he had fifteen days back paid Rs. 500/- to the Appellant. Further, Nand Lal (PW-2) in his examination-in-chief on hand-wash had claimed that it was taken and perhaps polythene bag was also washed, but in his cross-examination PW-2 had accepted that hand-wash of the Appellant was not taken. Similarly, Hemant Kumar (PW-3) had contradicted the version in his examination that the pant wash of the Accused was taken at the Anti-Corruption Branch, as in his cross-examination Hemant Kumar (PW-3) had accepted the suggestion that the hand-wash and pocket wash were not taken after the Appellant was apprehended. Inspector Rohtash Singh (PW-5) who had conducted the raid has admitted that he had not taken the hand-wash or the pant wash of the Appellant from which the polythene packet containing the bribe money was allegedly seized. Further, the testimonies of Nand Lal (PW-2) and Hemant Kumar (PW-3) reveal a major dichotomy on the amount that the Appellant had allegedly demanded as bribe. In his cross-examination Nand Lal (PW-2) had denied the suggestion that the Appellant had asked for Rs. 2,000/- to be paid separately by Nand Lal (PW-2) and Hemant Kumar (PW-3) as the two were partners, contrary to the version given by Hemant Kumar (PW-3) who had deposed that the Appellant had told them in the gallery that each of them should pay Rs. 2,000/-. There is a contradiction in the testimony of Nand Lal (PW-2) and Hemant Kumar (PW-3) as to the place where the allegedly bribe money was asked and paid to the Appellant. As per Nand Lal (PW-2) the bribe was asked and paid in the garment shop, whereas Hemant Kumar (PW-3) has denied that the payment took place inside the cloth shop. Drawing our attention to the version of Nand Lal (PW-2), it was submitted that Hemant Kumar (PW-3) was not an eyewitness or a panch witness to the demand and payment of alleged bribe money. In view of the irreconcilable versions of the two witnesses, the Appellant is entitled to benefit of doubt. Further, there is no evidence or document to show that Nand Lal (PW-2) was the tenant in the shed for which the Appellant h........