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        =             &nb= sp;            =    REPORTABLE






        CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1513    OF 2010

 (@ SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) No= .8612 of 2008)



STATE OF M.P.        =             &nb= sp;   ... APPELLANT










            =      J U D G M E N T






1.   Leave granted.



2.   This appeal is directed agai= nst a judgment of


acquittal passed by the F= irst Additional Sessions

        =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp;            =       2





Judge and Special Judge, = Shahdol, in Special Case


No.5/87, acquitting the Respondents in respect of


offences punishable under= Section 161 of the Indian


Penal Code (I.P.C.) and S= ection 5(1)(d) read with


Section 5(2) of the Preve= ntion of Corruption Act,


1947, hereinafter referre= d to as the "1947 Act".



3.   According       to     the   prosecution        case,     the


complainant, Ramavtar, su= bmitted an application in


the Office of the Distric= t Excise Officer, Shahdol,


for a licence to collect Mahua.        =          At that time,


Ghanshyamdas     @   G.D.    Sharma    had    been   serving    as


Special Inspector, Excise= and the sole Respondent


herein,   Harishankar        Bhagwan    Pd= .     Tripathi,      was


serving as a Clerk in the= said establishment.        =           The


complainant, Ramavtar, cl= aimed to have deposited a


sum of Rs.200/- for the l= icence fee in the State


Bank and upon inquiry fro= m the said Ghanshyamdas,


he allegedly demanded a s= um of Rs.2000/- from the

        =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp; 3





complainant         as    illegal=     gratification         for   getting=


the licence.        =      Eventually, a written complaint was


made    by   Ramavtar        to    the    Lokayukt    (Rewa)     of    the


Special Police, Rewa, whi= ch was received by the


Deputy Superintendent of = Police on 04.06.1986.



4.     At    this        juncture,       it   may    be    noted      that<= /o:p>


Ghanshyamdas, who had bee= n made the Respondent No.1


in   the     Special       Leav= e     Petition,      died   during      the


pendency      of     the     petition         and   the    proceedings=


against him have, therefo= re, abated.



5.     Once the written complaint was made, the Office


of the Special Police Establishment arranged for a


trap and 20 currency note= s of Rs.100/- denomination


each were treated with phenolphthalein powder and


were kept in the right po= cket of the kurta worn by


Ramavtar.      He was dir= ected to hand over the treated


currency      notes        to     Ghanshyamdas       and<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'>     was      also<= /o:p>

        =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp;            =          4





cautioned    against      touching      the     currency     notes=


before they were handed o= ver to Ghanshyamdas.



6.     According to the prosecution case, the notes in


question    were    handed     over   by      the    complainant,


Ramavtar, to Ghanshyamdas= , who kept 18 of the notes


with himself, while givin= g two of the notes to the


sole       Respondent,        Harishankar.        =     Immediately


thereafter, on being give= n a pre-arranged signal,


the trap party came insid= e and apprehended both the


Respondents.        Their     hands   were      washed     with     a


solution of Sodium Carbon= ate, upon which the water


turned     pink    in   colour.         A     charge-sheet        was


submitted    before     the   Special       Judge,    who= ,   after


going    through    the     charge-sheet,       framed     charges


against the accused punis= hable under Section 161


I.P.C. and also Section 5= (1)(d) read with Section


5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947.


The trial Judge acquitted= the Respondents not on

        =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp; 5





the ground that the prose= cution had failed to prove


its case, but upon holdin= g that the sanction which


had     been    accorded         for    the       prosecution    of    the


accused, was improper and= had been given without


application of mind.        =        Though, the learned Special


Judge    found     the      trap       to    have    been    proved,    he


acquitted the Respondents= on the ground that the


sanction to prosecute the= accused had been granted


without application of mi= nd.



7.    Aggrieved by the judgm= ent of acquittal passed


by    the      learned      Special         Judge,    the=     prosecuting=


agencies       file= d       Criminal         Appeal   No.294     of    1994


before the Jabalpur Bench of the Madhya Pradesh


High Court, which, by its judgment and order dated


31st March, 2008, reitera= ted the findings of the


trial Court and dismissed= the appeal upon holding


that the sanction accorde= d by the State Government


under    Section       6    of    the       Act<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'>   suffered    from    non-

        =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp;            =              6





application of mind, sinc= e in the sanction order


only the facts of the pro= secution case had been


mentioned       and<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'>    no    reason      had     been     given      for


according     sanction       in   regard       thereto.         In   the


absence of a valid sancti= on, the High Court dropped


the proceedings against Ghanshyamdas, against whom


the    appeal    has    abated.        =   As    far   as    the       sole=


Respondent, Harishankar B= hagwan Prasad Tripathi, is


concerned, the High Court= held that in the absence


of    any   demand    made   by    the   said     Respondent,        the


provisions of Section 5(1= )(d) of the 1947 Act were


not attracted and even the recovery of Rs.200/-


from Harishankar was not sufficient to hold him


guilty of the charges lev= elled against him.        =             &nb= sp;     The


High Court, accordingly, dismissed the appeal as


against the sole Responde= nt, Harishankar.



8.    Ms.    Vibha     Datta      Makhija,      learned        Advocate


appearing       for    the   Appellant,         State     of     <= st1:State w:st=3D"on">Madhya

        =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp;            =     7





Pradesh, took us to the o= rder dated 9th February,


1987, according sanction = under Section 6(1)(c) of


the Prevention of Corrupt= ion Act, 1947, to initiate


prosecution      against    Ghanshyamdas     and    Harishankar=


for    the   offences      punishable=     under     Section   161


I.P.C. and Section 5(1)(d= ) read with Section 5(2)


of the Prevention of Corr= uption Act, 1947, and the


other Acts for the time b= eing in force in this


connection.      Learned co= unsel pointed out that the


facts of the case, as wou= ld appear from the records


maintained by the Office = of the Lokayukt, had been


clearly set out and a satisfaction was also arrived


at from the facts as reco= rded and from the perusal


thereof,     that     prosecution      was   required   to    be


initiated against both the accused in a Court of


law.    Ms. Makhija submitted = that the trial Court


had    wrongly      held   that   no    valid    sanction    for


prosecution had been prov= ed, inasmuch as, the same

        =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp;            =           8





was proved by Shri R.N. S= ingh, the Superintendent


of Police, Lokayukt Office (PW-5).        =              Ms. Makhija


submitted that the learne= d Courts below had erred


in   acquitting      the    Respondents    only       on   the   said


ground     after having fou= nd them to be guilty of the


offence with which they h= ad been charged.



9.     Placing reliance= on the judgment of this Court


in State of Maharashtra v= s. Ishwar Piraji Kalpatri


& Ors. [(1996) 1 SCC = 542], Ms. Makhija submitted


that    this    Court      had   held   that   while       according


sanction there was nothin= g in law which required a


statement to be made by t= he Sanctioning Officer


that he had personally scrutinized the file and had


arrived at the required satisfaction. The statement


made by the Sanctioning A= uthority that it had fully


examined       the<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'>   material       befo= re       it     and      after=


considering      all       the<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'>    facts    and        circumstances


discussed therein was sat= isfied that a prima facie

        =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp;            =             9





case was made out against= the accused person and


that it was necessary in = the interest of justice to


prosecute    him   in       the<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'>    Court,    indicated       that=    the


material on record had be= en examined by the officer


concerned who had applied= his mind before according


sanction.     Reference was al= so made to the decision


of this Court in C.S. Krishnamurthy vs. State of


Karnataka [(2005) 4 SCC 8= 1], where in a similar


situation     where         grant     of    sanction     had        been


questioned, this Court he= ld that the sanction order


should speak for itself a= nd in case the facts do


not   so    appear,     it     must    be    proved     by    leading


evidence    that      all     the     particulars      were    placed


before      the    Sanctioning        =      Authority     for        due


application of mind.        =       If the sanction order itself


is eloquent enough, then = in that case only formal


evidence has to be led by= the Sanctioning Authority


or any other evidence to = prove that the sanction

        =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp;            =     10





had been accorded by a co= mpetent person upon due


application of mind.=



10. Ms. Makhija submitted= that having regard to the


above, the sanction order= was sufficiently clear to


indicate that the Sanctio= ning Authority had applied


its   mind   to   the   records   of    the    office   of   the


Lokayukt     while   granting   sanction      for   prosecuting


the two accused persons.<= o:p>



11. In view of the death = of the Respondent No.1,


Ghanshyamdas, during the = pendency of the appeal,


Ms. Makhija's submissions= were opposed on behalf of


the   remaining      Respondent= ,       Harishankar    =   Bhagwan


Prasad Tripathi, and the submissions made before


the trial Court as well a= s the High Court, were


reiterated by Mr. Kuldip = Singh, learned Advocate.


In addition, it was once = again emphasized that the


sole Respondent had not m= ade any demand for illegal

        =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp;   11





gratification,         nor    was       any<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'>    evidence    led    by     the


prosecution to make out s= uch a case against him.


On the other hand, except= for the fact that a sum


of Rs.200/- from out of t= he treated notes had been


recovered       from=     his    possession,         there    is    nothing


else to indicate that he = was in any case involved


in   the   conspiracy         to    obtain<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'>       brib= e    for    grant    of


excise licence. Learned c= ounsel urged that in such


circumstances, the sole Respondent had been rightly


acquitted by the Courts b= elow.



12. Having       care= fully         considered        the    submis= sions


made on behalf of the res= pective parties, we are


unable     to   agree    with       the<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'>       reasoning    of    both    the


learned Special Judge as = also the High Court in


dismissing       the<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'>    case       of    the     prosecution      on     the


ground that proper sancti= on had not been obtained


to prosecute the accused persons.        =             Both the Courts


have come to an erroneous= finding that although the

            =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp;            =            12=





trap   which     had    been     laid       had<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'>   been      proved,     the


circumstances      in     which        a    sum     of     Rs.200/-     was


recovered from the sole R= espondent, had not been


properly considered. No a= ttempt has been made by


the    defence    to    explain        as    to     how     the     tainted


currency came to be in the possession of the sole


Respondent, except for the statement that the same


had    been    handed     over     to       him<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'>     by     Ghanshyamdas.


Unless there was an under= standing between the sole


Respondent and Ghanshyamd= as, since deceased, there


can be no reason for Ghan= shyamdas to have given the


sole Respondent a part of= the money which he had


received by way of illegal gratification.



13. Even with regard to t= he grant of sanction, it


is quite clear that the r= ecords of the Lokayukt's


Office    had      been     examined        =   by         the   Principal


Secretary,       Government       of       Madh= ya        Pradesh,     while


granting such sanction for prosecution.        =             &nb= sp;        As has

        =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp;            =           13





been    indicated     by     this   Court   in     Ishwar    Piraji


Kalpatri's    case     (supra),     while    granting      sanction


the officer concerned is = not required to indicate


that he had personally scrutinized the file and had


arrived at the satisfacti= on for granting sanction.


The    narration      of   events    granting       sanction       for<= o:p>


prosecution      clearly      indicates<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'>     the    case     and    the


reason for grant of such sanction.        =          In the present


case also the order grant= ing sanction does not, in


our view, suffer from any infirmity which prompted


the Courts below to acqui= t the accused persons.



14. This appeal, accordin= gly, succeeds.        =            The order


of the learned Special Ju= dge, Shahdol, dated 19th


May, 1993 in Special Case= No. No.5/87, acquitting


the    accused   of    the    charges     framed    against       them=


under Section 161 I.P.C. = and Section 5(1)(d) read


with Section 5(2) of the = 1947 Act and the judgment


of the Madhya Pradesh Hig= h Court dated 31st March,

        =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp;           14





2008 in Criminal Appeal N= o.294 of 1994 are hereby


set aside.     The appeal is, therefore, allowed and


the   matter   is   remitted   to   the    learned        =           Special


Judge, Shahdol, for passi= ng appropriate orders on


the merits of the case.





        =             &nb= sp;            =      ................................................J.

        =                      =             &nb= sp;     (ALTAMAS KABIR)




        =             &nb= sp;            =      ................................................J.

        =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp;    (A.K. PATNAIK)

New Delhi

Dated: 13.08.2010