This court has no hesitation in holding that the evidence in the record is insufficient to establish the essential ingredient of demand of illegal gratification by the appellant-convict, for constituting the offences punishable under section 7 or for that matter section 13 (2) read with section 13 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988: This was said in the case of Bishnu Deo Ram vs The State Of Jharkhand Through CBI [Cr. Appeal (SJ) No.657 of 2011] by Justice Anil Kumar Choudhary in the High Court of Jharkhand.
The present appeal has been preferred against the Judgment of Conviction and Order of Sentence dated 05.12.2011 passed by the Special Judge whereby the learned court has held appellant-convict guilty of the offences punishable under Section 7 and Sections 13 (2) read with Section 13 (1) (d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988
The learned counsel for the appellant submitted there is absolutely no evidence regarding the demand of illegal gratification. It is then submitted that evidence of mere recovery of tainted money with the post trap formalities is by itself not sufficient to constitute the offence punishable under Section 7 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 or for that matter Section 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 read with Section 13 (1) (d) (i) and (ii) of the said Act, so the appellant-convict be acquitted of the charges by at least giving him the benefit of doubt.
The learned counsel for the CBI submitted that as the P.W.4, PW6 and PW11 have categorically deposed about the ingredients of the offences for which the appellant-convict has been convicted and their testimonies have been corroborated by the testimonies of the other witnesses of the prosecution, thus the evidence in the record are sufficient enough to establish the charges for the offences punishable under Section 7 and Sections 13 (2) read with Section 13 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
After hearing the submissions made at the Bar and after going through the evidence in the record, it was said that “The PW 4, PW 6 and PW 11 have categorically stated that initially the appellant-convict refused to 20 receive the money offered by the PW 6 and only upon insistence of the PW 6 he received the money. Further, as already indicated above the prosecution witnesses themselves have stated that when the appellant were challenged by the personnel of CBI regarding accepting of the bribe from the PW6, the appellant-convict since the beginning pleaded that he did not demand the bribe. The verification officer being the PW 12 never went to the appellant-convict during the verification of the complaint submitted by the PW6 hence he had no occasion either to hear from the appellant-convict as to whether he ever demanded any bribe from the PW6”.
Referring to the case of P. Satyanarayan Murthy Vs. District Inspector [CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 31 OF 2009] the Court said that “There is absolutely no substantive evidence in the record regarding the demand of bribe by the appellant-convict”. Thus this is a fit case where the appellant be acquitted of the charges framed against him by giving him the benefit of doubt.