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Legal presumptions are allowed to be drawn under the Evidence Act and both human behaviour and natural occurrences should be taken into account: Uttarakhand High Court

Legal presumptions are allowed to be drawn under the Evidence Act and both human behaviour and natural occurrences should be taken into account is upheld by the Uttarakhand High Court in the case of Swetabh Suman vs Central Bureau Of Investigation through Hon’ble Justice Ravindra Maithani.

 

FACTS OF THE CASE

The CBI in Dehradun was informed by a trustworthy source that Swetabh Suman, the first appellant who was employed as an additional commissioner for income tax in Jamshedpur, was living a life of luxury and had accumulated assets in his name, in the name of Gulab Devi, the second appellant in the name of benamis which on the surface seems to be excessive given his known source of income.

The first appellant has been found guilty under Sections 11 and 13 (2) read with Section 13(1) (e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, by the impugned judgement of the court of Special Judge.

The other three appellants in the instant case were found guilty in accordance with Section 109 IPC read with Section 13(2) read with Section 13(1)(e) and Section 11 of the Act, and they were given a 4-year sentence of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 20,000 and Court ordered simple imprisonment for an additional four months if the fine is not paid.

The appellants filed criminal appeal against their conviction and punishment. The third appellant in addition to this filed a criminal appeal against the confiscation of his properties.

JUDGEMENT

The Uttarakhand High Court held that legal presumptions are allowed to be drawn under the Evidence Act and both human behaviour and natural occurrences should be taken into account.

Accordingly, the Court found the first appellant guilty of the crime punishable under Sections 13(2) and 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and was sentenced to five years of rigorous imprisonment under as per Section 7 of the Act, as well as a fine of Rs. 10,000. Also, the appellant would have to serve an additional two months of simple jail if the fine is not paid.

The appeal filed by the second appellant was withdrawn in light of her passing. The other appellants were found guilty in accordance with Sections 109 IPC, 13(2), 13(1)(e), and Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NISHTHA GARHWAL

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