Prevention of Corruption Act:Twin Requirement of Demand and Acceptance of Bribe by Accused to be proved- Supreme Court

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October 12, 2018

Case name: Dashrath Singh Chauhan v. Central Bureau of Investigation

In the case, there were two accused charged with offences punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act and for criminal conspiracy under Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code. The appellant is one of the accused and his main grievance was that the co-accused was acquitted and the appellant’s conviction was upheld by the High Court.

The Two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court in view of the facts and circumstances of the case acquitted the appellant and made the following observations in the case:

That when the charge against both the accused in relation to conspiracy was not held proved and both the accused were acquitted from the said charge which, in turn, resulted in clean acquittal of Rajinder Kumar from all the charges under the PC Act, a fortiori, the appellant too was entitled for his clean acquittal from the charges under the PC Act.

That even assuming that despite the appellant being acquitted of the charge relating to conspiracy and notwithstanding the clean acquittal of Rajinder Kumar from all the charges, the prosecuton failed to prove the charge against the appellant under the relevant sections of the PC Act.

One of the essential observation made by the Apex Court in relation to charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act was that in order to prove a case against the appellant, it was necessary for the prosecution to prove the twin requirement of “demand and the acceptance of the bribe amount by the appellant”.

The Court noted that the prosecution’s case was that the appellant did not accept the bribe money but the money was accepted and recovered from the possession of Rajinder Kumar–co­accused. Since in order to attract the rigors of Sections 7, 13(2) read 13(1)(d) of PC Act, the prosecution was under a legal obligation to prove the twin requirements of “demand and acceptance of bribe money by the accused”.

In view of the aforesaid, the Supreme Court held that the Appellant was entitled for acquittal from the charges framed against him under the PC Act too.

The entire case can be accessed here.