Mere Recovery Of Tainted Money Not Sufficient To Convict Accused - Bombay HC While Acqutting Ex-Cop After 24 Years
The Bombay High Court acquitted a former cop after 24 years of being convicted on charges of corruption.
The Court while acquitting observed, "It is well settled that demand of illegal gratifcation is sine-qua-non for constituting the ofence under the PC Act of 1947. Mere recovery of tainted money is not sufficient to convict the accused. Mere receipt of amount by the accused is not sufficient to fasten the guilt in absence of any evidence with regard to 'demand' and 'acceptance' of the amount as illegal gratifcation, as held by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of State of Punjab V/s. Madan Mohanlal Verma.
The Single Bench of Justice VG Bisht held that the prosecution had failed to prove the factum of acceptance of bribe money.
In this case one Damu Ramu Avhad who was a Police Sub-inspector at that time was accused of demanding a bribe of Rs. 350 for releasing the complainant's brother on bail.
The Trial Court found the appellant-Damu Avhad to be guilty of the charges under section 5(2) read with section 5(i)(b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1947 and section 161 of the Indian Penal Code.
Aggrieved by this he moved High Court.
Advocate Gole appearing for the appellant submitted that the said alleged demand of monies was never verifed by the officials of the Anti Corruption Bureau. He also submitted that there was no clear or specific demand of bribe from the appellant.
On the other hand APP Sonavane, appearing for the respondent-state contended that there was no evidence to show that the amount was taken towards bail.
The Court noted that since the complainant was asked to give money in order to release his brother on bail, he drew inferences that the appellant was seeking illegal gratifcation in order to facilitate release of his younger brother on bail.
The Court also noted "In normal course and, more particularly, in such kind of cases, the prosecution always confrms and verifes whether indeed a demand of gratifcation has been made by the accused or not. No such thing was done by the office of the Anti Corruption Bureau."
The Court held that there was no evidence to prove that the appellant had made any specifc demand of gratifcation and directly accepted the money from the complainant.
"It was necessary for the prosecution to prove the twin requirements of 'demand' and 'acceptance' of the bribe amount by the appellant. I have already found from the evidence that the appellant was not present when the amount of Rs. 350/- came to be recovered from the possession of acquitted accused", the Court noted.
Accordingly the judgment and the order of the Trial Court was set aside and appeal was allowed.