In Absence Of This Relevant Material Offence Under Section 11 Of P.C. Act Can’t Be Established: High Court Of Bombay

Title: Anil Goel v Union of India & Anr.

Citation: Criminal Revision Application No.183 Of 2023

Coram: Justice Bharati Dangre

Decided On: 25th OCTOBER, 2023


F.I.R.No.RC/18(A)/2015 dated 18/12/2015 is lodged by the CBI, ACB, Cochin for the offences punishable under Sections 7, 12, & 13(2) read with 13(1)(a) & (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. A primary charge-sheet was fled against the other accused persons named in the F.I.R. , leaving out the Applicant and even during the course of investigation from 2015 to 2019, he was never arrested. On 31/07/2019, C.B.I. fled the supplementary charge- sheet against the Applicant, accusing of committing an offence under Section 11 of the P.C. Act.


The allegation levelled against him is that, while functioning as Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (CCIT) from the period between 01/01/2014 to 31/12/2015, he occupied a flat (guesthouse) belonging to M/s Heera Constructions, without payment of any rent. t is a claim of the C.B.I. that as M/s Heera Constructions fell within the assessment jurisdiction of the Applicant, the act of staying in the flat, without payment of rent, constitutes the offence under Section 11 of the P.C. Act.

The investigation had revealed that Heera Constructions had taken the subject flat used by it as guesthouse on lease from another private person. On being taken on lease, the lease rent was paid by it. The Applicant is alleged to have stayed in the Apartment, free of cost, by abusing the offcial position, as Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Thiruvananthapuram. It is alleged that rent of Rs.4,40,000/- was paid by M/s Heera Constructions Pvt. Ltd. to the owner of the Apartment.

It is alleged that Heera Builders paid rent of Rs.20,000/- per month for the period from February 2014 to January 2015 (12 months) and Rs.25,000/- per month from February 2015 to September 2015 (8 months) i.e. Heera Builders paid total rent of Rs.4.4 lakhs to Mrs.Nanma Jayan for the stay of the Applicant in the flat.

The Applicant moved an application for his release on bail, post fling of the charge-sheet on the ground that, he was never arrested during investigation and the same is allowed by the Special Court for C.B.I. at Greater Bombay on 19/09/2022.

The Applicant came to Thiruvananthapuram as CCIT and his sub-ordinate i.e. the ITO showed him the flat, which he was to occupy. Apparently, he did not make any inquiries, unaware about the ownership of the flat or it’s possession. Counsel contended that if it is the allegation that he continued to reside free of cost, then why no notice was ever issued and in fact, the charge-sheet disclose that the service charge, as directed to be paid, was borne by the Applicant from January 2014 to November 2015.

Court’s Analysis and Judgement:

From reading Section 11 of P.C. Act it is evident that the act of a public servant, accepting or obtaining or attempting to obtain, either for himself or for any other person, any “valuable thing”, without consideration or for an inadequate consideration, from any person whom he knows to have been or to be likely to be concerned in any proceeding or business transacted or about to be transacted by the public servant or has any connect with his offcial position, then such an act would amount to an offence under Section 11.

But, In absence of this relevant material in the charge-sheet, which would constitute as a ground for presuming that the Applicant has committed the offence, the charge must be considered to be groundless, which is a same thing as saying that there is no ground for framing the charge.

Applicant occupied the flat, but has failed to pay the rent and this act is sufficient to make out a prima facie offence under Section 11 read with Section 12 of the P.C. Act though Accused No.2-Sarath was refused sanction and he was not charge-sheeted and, hence, the offence under Sections 34 and 120-B of the IPC is not made out. In absence of establishing that the flat has been enjoyed free of cost and it has a connect with the duty to be discharged by the Applicant in relation to the assessee, merely because a assessee fall within his jurisdiction, it cannot be said that the ingredients of Section 11 are made out. Hence the order dated 13/02/2023 was set aside by the court and the Applicant is discharged from Special Case No.751 of 2022.

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Written by- Sushant Kumar

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