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Criminal Appeal No. 1350 of 2009 (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 211 of 2006)

Decided On: 29.07.2009

Appellants: State of Maharashtra Vs. Respondent: Dnyaneshwar Laxman Rao Wankhede

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
S.B. Sinha and Cyriac Joseph


S.B. Sinha, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. The State is before us being aggrieved by and dissatisfied with a judgment and order dated 19.07.2005 passed by a learned Single Judge of the High Court of Judicature at Bombay, Nagpur Bench, Nagpur whereby and whereunder a judgment of acquittal was recorded in favour of the respondent herein who was convicted by the Special Judge, Wardha in Special Case No. 4 of 1996 under Section 7(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (for short "the Act").

3. Respondent was, at all material times, serving as a Head Constable in Police Station, Karanja in the District of Wardha. Madhukar Dhote, hereinafter referred to as the complainant, was a resident of village Taroda in the Tehsil of Karanja (Ghadge). He had lodged a report against Dhanaraj Mohod and his servant Sudhkar Borkar for allegedly allowing their cattle to graze orange plants. Sudhkar Borkar's mother, however, lodged a report against the complainant that he had assaulted her son. In his capacity as a Head Constable, the respondent visited the village for making an enquiry.

4. Respondent informed that having regard to the complaint made by the mother of Sudhakar Borkar, he and his three brothers were to be proceeded for commission of an offence under Section 448 of the Indian Penal Code. He allegedly demanded a sum of Rs. 2,000/- for releasing him on bail.

5. On or about 14.07.1995, Ramesh Dhote, brother of the complainant and his servant had taken the cow of Dhanraj Mohod to the cattle - pound as the cow had damaged the crops in the complainant's field. On 31.07.1995, the respondent is said to have again demanded a sum of Rs. 1500/- for releasing Ramesh Dhote and his servant on bail in the aforementioned matter. Allegedly, a sum of Rs. 100/- and thereafter a sum of Rs. 200/- was paid to him.

6. The complainant thereafter on the premise that he was unwilling to pay the balance sum of Rs. 1200/- to the respondent lodged an oral report before the Anti Corruption Bureau against the respondent on or about 8.08.1995. A raid was conducted but allegedly the same was not successful. On 21.08.1995, the complainant lodged additional report stating that the respondent told that he should come to Karanja on 22.08.1995 with remaining amount of Rs. 1200/-. The entire procedure was repeated again on 22.08.1995. Complainant and one panch witness Ashok Waghade went to the police station. Respondent was not present at the police station. Then they went to his house. He is said to have again demanded the amount and asked them to come near the Veterinary hospital. Allegedly, near about the Veterinary Hospital, on demand of the amount of bribe by the respondent, the same was paid. He was apprehended by the raiding party. Upon obtaining sanction for the prosecution of the respondent, a case under Sections 7 and 13(1)(d) was initiated against him.

7. Respondent entered the plea of innocence. Charges were framed against him. Ashok Waghade, panch witness No. 1, died during pendency of the said proceeding. The other panch witness Gajanan Ambatkar although was not present w........