State of Madhya Pradesh Vs. J.B. Singh
Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988
Section 5(1)(d) with Indian Penal Code, 1860 – Section 161 – Conviction – Accused alleged to have demanded and paid an amount – Complainant not supporting prosecution on payment – Statement of other witness also vague. Held that acquittal recorded by High Court was justified.
1. This appeal by the State of Madhya Pradesh is directed against an order of acquittal recorded by the High Court. The Respondent was charged under Section 161 IPC and Section 5(1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act on the allegation that he made a demand for a sum of Rs. 270/- from one Mithailal and pursuant to the said demand, the money was paid which also was recovered from the rest room at the Police Station. The accused happens to be a Police Officer. The Special Judge convicted the accused Respondent of the charge under Section 5(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. But on appeal, the High Court has set aside the conviction and recorded an order of acquittal.
2. On examining the materials on record, the High Court came to the conclusion that the prosecution has failed to establish either the demand made by the accused or even the payment by the complainant and, therefore, the offence cannot be said to have been established beyond reasonable doubt. Mithailal, the com-plainant who was examined as PW-9 did not support the prosecution case during trial and, therefore, he was permitted to be cross-examined by the prosecution Counsel.
3. Mr. Shukla, learned senior Counsel appearing for the State, contended that notwithstanding the fact that the complainant himself turned hostile and did not support the prosecution case but the fact of demand could be established by the evidence of Badri Prasad (PW-1). Mr. Badri Prasad appears to be a person who was known to Mithailal and according to his evidence he went to the Police Station on being requested by father of Mithailal to find out as to how Mithailal was being detained at the Police Station.
4. We have been taken through the evidence of said Badri Prasad (PW-1) and his evidence, by no stretch of imagination can be held to have established the fact that the accused made any demand from Mithailal. The only statement made by Badri Prasad is that the Sub-Inspector had told him that the accused should pay some money for being released. This statement cannot be held to be a statement to establish that the accused made the demand to Mithailal. So far as the payment is concerned, once Mithailal himself did not support the prosecution case, there is no materi-al also to establish the alleged payment said to have been made by Mithailal to the accused pursuant to the alleged demand. Therefore, all the necessary ingredients of the offence under Section 5(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act as well as under Section 161 IPC not having been established, the order of acquittal is wholly justified and cannot be interfered with.
5. The appeal accordingly fails and is dismissed. The bail bonds of the Respondent stand discharged.