MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Location: file:///C:/232BAD12/SCJudgementdated13.08.2010-M.A.A.Annamalaivs.StateofKerala&another.htm Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" SC Judgement

 

        =             &nb= sp;            =    REPORTABLE

 

        =    IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

 

           CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

 

        CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1513    OF 2010

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

 

 

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

 

     VS.

 

 

HARISHANKAR BHAGWAN PD. TRIPATHI     ... RESPONDENT

 

 

 

 

            =      J U D G M E N T

 

 

ALTAMAS KABIR, J.

 

 

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