Hon’ble Supreme Court reiterates that in order to succeed to prove offence under section 7 and section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”) it is necessary to prove demand as well as acceptance of bribe by the accused.
In the matter of Dashrath Singh Chauhan v. Central Bureau of Investigation a bench comprising of Hon’ble Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre allowed the appeal preferred by the appellate by way of special leave and acquitted the appellate of charges framed against him under sections 7 and 13(2) read with section 13(1)(d) of the Act. The appellate stood accused for the said offence of taking bribe and criminal misconduct by the Trail Court and the same was approved by Hon’ble High Court of Delhi.
To throw some light on the fact pattern of the case, the appellate along with another Mr. Rajinder Kumar were employee of Delhi Electric Supply Undertaking (DESU) and were accused of criminal conspiracy to accept a bribe of Rs. 4,000/- (Rupees Four Thousand Only) in order to install electric connection in the factory of the complainant Mr. Arun Kumar. Charges were framed against them under section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, 1892 and Section 7, 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of the Act. The Trial court held that offence against section 120-B of the IPC is not proved beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution hence both the accused were acquitted of the said offence and consequently Mr. Rajinder Kumar was acquitted of charges under the Act but the appellant was held guilty and was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for 2 (two) years and to pay a fine of Rs. 40,000/- (Rupees Forty-Thousand Only) failing which the appellate will be obligated to undergo simple imprisonment for 6 (six) months. State did not prefer and appeal against the said acquittal of Mr. Rajinder Singh as well as acquittal of the appellate for criminal conspiracy. Aggrieved by the judgement the appellate appealed in the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi which upheld the order passed by the Trial Court.
Hence further aggrieved the appellate preferred an appeal to the Apex Court. While hearing the arguments made by both the parties, the court took into consideration judgments like Bhagat Ram v. State of Rajasthan [(1972) 2 SCC 466] and M. K. Harshan v. State of Kerala [(1996) 11 SCC 720) and held that twin requirement for proving the said offences is ‘demand as well as acceptance of bribe’ which is absent in the present case against the appellant.
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