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The demand of illegal gratification is a condition precedent for constituting an offense: Jharkhand High Court

 

The inspector of C.B.I. submitted the report confirming the demand for illegal gratification by the Appellant as alleged in the written complaint by the Complainant under Section 7 and Section 13 (2)  read with 13 (1) (d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1998. This was held in Bishnu Deo Ram vs. The State of Jharkhand through C.B.I. [Cr. Appeal (SJ) No.657 of 2011] in the High Court of Jharkhand by a single bench consisting of Justice Anil Kumar Chaudhary. 

The facts of the case are that the complainant was working as an E.D.M.C., in Raj chainpur, Sub Post Office, Palamau. The Appellant was working as a Sub-divisional inspector of post offices, East sub-division, Daltonganj. It is alleged that the Appellant used to demand illegal gratification of Rs.2000/- for sending favorable post report to the Superintendent of the Post Offices on the application of the Complainant to post the complainant in the vacant post of Postman in I.E. Sudna Branch Post Office. On 25.10.2004 when the complainant approached the appellant, the appellant told that he has to pay Rs.700/- as the first installment of the bribe amount of Rs.2000/- and then only the appellant would send the favorable report to the Superintendent of Post Offices.

The complainant stated about the pre-trap preparation to the inspector of CBI and further deposed that they reached the residence of the Appellant in the middle of the night and upon knocking on the door, appellant came out and enquired as to what the matter was. The complainant wished the appellant and told him that he has brought the money demanded by him and offered the appellant to take the said money. The appellant was hesitant to take the money after seeing the strangers with the complainant. Again, he told the appellant that he has brought Rs.700/- and the remaining amount he will pay soon, and hence, he kept the money in his pocket. Upon which the entire team of CBI officers reached there and caught hold of the hands of the appellant. The hands of the appellant and the notes were tallied being dipped in the chemical solution where the solution turned pink.

The Learned Trial Court, after considering the evidence the record, held that the evidence put forth by the prosecution is sufficient to establish the fact that the appellant demanded a bribe and was caught red-handed while taking the bribe and the bribe money has been recovered from him. Hence, he convicted and sentenced the appellant.

The Learned Counsel appearing for the appellant submitted that the Learned Trial Court failed to consider the fact that most of the witnesses of the prosecution have not mentioned as to on which date the alleged trap took placed whereas the defense for the appellant has categorically mentioned that the occurrence took place on 28.10.2004 and considers that the statement recorded was asked from the appellant that the said tainted currency notes were given to him by the complainant on 28.10.2004 whereas charge framed against the appellant shows that the alleged occurrence of giving notes took place on 29.10.2004 and held that the case of the prosecution is doubtful and thus ought to have acquitted the appellant.

Upon considering the facts of the case, the court stated that “the impugned judgment of conviction and order of sentence is set aside and the appellant is acquitted by giving him the benefit of doubt and is discharged from the liability of his bail bond”.

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