of Madhya Pradesh Vs. Shambhu Dayal Nagar  Insc 738 (2 November 2006)
Sinha & Dalveer Bhandari Dalveer Bhandari, J.
appeal has been filed by the State of Madhya Pradesh against the judgment of the High Court of Judicature of
Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur, Bench at Gwalior, dated 30.1.2003 passed in Criminal
Appeal No.2 of 1999.
brief facts of this appeal, which are necessary to dispose of this appeal, in a
nutshell, are as follows.
respondent Shambhu Dayal Nagar, who was posted at the Police Station, Malanpur
on the post of Assistant Sub-Inspector was convicted under Sections 7 and 13(1)(d)
read with Section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
to the version of the prosecution, on 9.8.1996 complainant Badan Singh's
sister-in-law (Bhabhi) Bithola Devi, a resident of village Tukera was beaten by
Jagmohan, Mahavir etc. who belonged to the same village. A report of the said
incident was made by Bithola Devi at the Police Station Malanpur. The
investigation of this matter was entrusted to the respondent Shambhu Dayal,
he went to the village Tukera at the house of complainant Badan Singh and told
him that the opposite party i.e. Mahavir etc. had filed a report against them
and in that connection, the rifle of the complainant and Mouser Rifle of Ram Prakash,
brother of the complainant would be seized and both, the complainant and his
brother would also be arrested. The respondent asked the complainant, Badan
Singh, that in case Rs.5000/- was paid to him, he would neither seize the
rifles nor arrest them and rather the opposite party's persons will be arrested
and sent to jail immediately.
21.8.1996, Badan Singh, the complainant told the respondent Shambhu Dayal that
he would not be able to arrange Rs.5000/- and he requested the respondent to
settle the amount at Rs.3500/-. The respondent agreed to accept Rs.3500/-
(bribe money) on the condition that the said amount had to be arranged by the
same evening. The complainant was not ready to give the bribe to the respondent
and wanted to get the respondent nabbed. Therefore, on 21.8.1996, he went to
the office of Shri Pradeep Runwal, Superintendent of Police, Office of the
Public Commissioner, Gwalior with cash of Rs.3500/- and submitted a written
application (Ex.P1) on the above-mentioned subject.
Superintendent of Police directed his subordinates to lay a trap for nabbing
the respondent while accepting the bribe. For this purpose, Aditya Chobey, the
then Manager, Industrial Development Centre, Gwalior was called with a vehicle. On 21.8.1996, after the arrival
of the above-named panch witness Aditya Chobey, PW6 and another Panch witness Srikrishan
Chauhan, PW3 at the Special Police Station (Office of the Public Commissioner, Gwalior),
the formal application made by the complainant, Badan Singh, was given to Aditya
Chobey. The application was read over to Badan Singh. On the said application, Aditya
Chobey gave his remarks and confirmed the contents and submission of the
application by the complainant and appended his signatures. Thereafter, the
complainant gave 35 currency notes of the denomination of Rs.100/- for giving
them as a bribe to the respondent. The numbers of all these currency notes were
Surender Rai Sharma, PW11, of the abovementioned establishment got a thin layer
of phenolphthalein powder smeared on both sides of these notes by Ram Roop
Singh Ojha, Sub-Inspector. The head constable searched Badan Singh, PW1 and Surender
Rai Sharma, PW11 and nothing was left in his pocket. The currency notes,
smeared with phenolphthalein powder, were kept in the right side pocket of the
pant worn by Badan Singh and it was explained to him not to touch these notes
before giving to the respondent. Badan Singh was given instructions not to
shake hands with the respondent before and after giving those currency notes to
him. The complainant after reaching Vijay Mishthan Bhandar asked Srikrishan Chauhan
PW3 to proceed and request the respondent to come at the appointed place i.e.
at Vijay Mishthan Bhandar. The respondent immediately came to the appointed
place. As already agreed, the complainant had given Rs.3500/- to the respondent
and the same were accepted by the resondent. Srikrishan Chauhan PW3, panch
witness, was directed to accompany the complainant to witness the proceedings
of raid and hear the conversation between the complainant and the respondent.
at the abovementioned office, the solution of sodium carbonate was prepared in
a clean glass through constable Aparval Singh, which was colourless and the
fingers of both hands of Sub-Inspector Ram Roop Singh were washed in the said
solution. Thereafter, the colour of the solution became pink. It was packed in
a clean small bottle as per rules and sealed and after marking the bottle,
signatures of the panchas were taken on it. It was also explained to the
complainant and the witnesses that on receiving the currency notes smeared with
phenolphthalein powder, this powder would be on the hands of the respondent and
after washing his hands in the colourless solution of sodium carbonate, the
same would change into a pink coloured solution as mentioned above.
said office, packets of two samples each of the phenolphthalein and sodium
carbonates were prepared and these were kept in separate envelopes and the same
were marked and sealed. Besides Surender Rai Sharma, Aditya Chobey, Manager,
AKVN, Gwalior, DSP, I.B. Srivastava, Dy.
Superintendent of Police and Amar Singh Bhadoriya, Kashi Ram Mijohnia,
Inspector, Head Constable Bhagwati Prasad Sharma, Veer Singh and constables Aparval
Singh and Srikrishan Chauhan were a part of the trapping team. Ram Roop Ojha,
who had smeared the powder on the currency notes, was not included in the trap
team. All the members of the trap team were made to wash their hands with clean
water at the office and the colour of solution did not change when their hands
were washed with sodium carbonate.
preliminary panchnama (Ex.P2) dated 21.8.1996 was prepared by the Inspector Surender
Rai Sharma (PW11) in respect of all the abovementioned proceedings at the
office of the Public Commissioner, Gwalior and it was signed by both the panch witnesses Aditya Chobey and Sri Krishan
Chauhan and the complainant.
the above proceedings, the trap team left for Malanpur in the official vehicle.
After reaching Vijay Mishthan Bhandar near Malanpur Police Station, the
complainant Badan Singh and panch witness Sri Krishan Chauhan were sent in the
said shop. Aditya Chobey, PW6 and other officers and officials of the trap
team, concealing their presence, took positions near the said shop. Narender
Singh Chauhan, nephew of the complainant, was sent to the police station to
call the respondent to Vijay Mishthan Bhandar. At about 7 p.m., the respondent
came to Vijay Mishthan Bhandar in his uniform on a motor cycle and spoke to the
complainant while sitting inside Vijay Mishthan Bhandar and when the respondent
demanded the amount of bribe, the complainant gave Rs.3500/- after taking out
the same from his pocket and the respondent kept the same in the right pocket
of his uniform's shirt. On passing the pre- decided signal by the complainant, Badan
Singh, the constable Aparval Singh and Bhagwati Prasad, who were hiding there,
entered Vijay Mishthan Bhandar and caught the respondent by his right and left
hands respectively. The other members of the trap team and panch witness Aditya
Chobey also entered the said Mishthan Bhandar within minutes and gave their
introduction to the respondent.
fingers of the respondent were washed in the solution of sodium carbonate at
the spot, in the presence of the panch witnesses, and the colour of solution
became pink. The solution was kept in a small bottle as a sample for its
chemical examination and this bottle was sealed as per rules. Thereafter, the
fingers of panch witness Aditya Chobey were washed separately in the solution
of sodium carbonate, in a clean glass, but its colour did not change. This
solution was also packed in a clean small bottle and sealed as per rules. The panch
witness Aditya Chobey took out the amount of bribe from the right side pocket
of the shirt of uniform worn by the respondent and their numbers were checked
and found to match with the numbers mentioned in the preliminary panchnama.
These notes were seized and its seizure memo (Ex.P5) was prepared at the spot
by the Inspector Surender Rai Sharma. Thereafter, the shirt of the uniform,
which the respondent was wearing at that time, was removed from his body and
its right side pocket was washed in the solution of sodium carbonate, after
which the solution became pink. This solution was packed in a small bottle for
examination and it was sealed as per rules. The above-mentioned shirt of the
respondent was seized vide seizure memo (Ex.P4) by Surender Rai Sharma and the
notes recovered from the pocket of the respondent were kept in an envelope
through the panch witness Aditya Chobey and the envelope was also sealed as per
rules. Thereafter, the fingers of Aditya Chobey were made to be washed in the solution
of sodium carbonate and the colour of solution changed. This solution was
packed in a small bottle and sealed as per rules. Signatures of the panch
witnesses, complainant and the respondent were taken on these bottles and the
signatures of panch witnesses and the respondent were taken on the envelope
containing currency notes of bribe, seizure memos of the shirt and notes. The panchnama
(Ex.P3) was prepared at the spot by the Inspector Surender Rai Sharma in
respect of all the above- mentioned proceedings. This panchnama was signed by
the panch witnesses and the complainant.
21.8.1996, The Investigating Officer, Surender Rai Sharma, prepared the sketch
map (Ex.P6) of the place of occurrence i.e. Vijay Mishthan Bhandar at Malanpur.
On the same date, the Rajdoot Motor Cycle No.MP 06 9315 of the respondent was
seized vide seizure memo (Ex.P7).
27.9.1996, carbon copy of the written report given to the respondent by Maniram
and Mahavir bearing acknowledgement of receipt by the respondent was seized
vide seizure memo (Ex.P10) on its production by Jagmohan. The FIR (Ex.P23) was
lodged by Surender Rai Sharma at Gwalior, which was later sent to the Police
Station Bhopal for the registration of the case, where a Case No.69/96 was
registered on 23.8.1996 vide report Ex.P24. The small bottles related to the
proceedings of the said case and other seized items were sent to Forensic
Science Laboratory, Sagar for their examination.
written permission (Ex.P16) duly signed by Shri N.K. Barya, Additional Secretary
of Legal Department of the State of Madhya Pradesh regarding prosecution of the
respondent was received on 16.1.1997 and after the formal investigation, the
charge-sheet was filed before this Court on 7.2.1997.
under Sections 7 and 13(1)(d) read with section 13(2) of the P.C. Act, 1988 [in
the alternate, under section 5(1)(d) read with section 5(2) of the P.C. Act,
1947] were framed against the respondent. The respondent did not plead guilty
to the charges and stated in his defence that he has been falsely implicated in
support of its case, the prosecution examined twelve witnesses PW1 Badan
Singh, the complainant, PW2 Bhagwati Prasad Sharma, PW3 Sri Krishan, PW4 Jagmohan,
PW5 Ram Roop Singh, Sub Inspector, PW6 Aditya Chobey, Manager, District
Industrial Development Centre, Gwalior, PW7 Vijay Kumar Mudgal, Inspector, PW8
K.N. Sharma, PW9 R.K. Gupta, PW10 Dalel Singh, PW11 Surender Rai Sharma and
PW12 Shiv Pratap Singh, Inspector.
statement, the complainant, Badan Singh, PW1 stated that the respondent had
told him that there was a complaint against him and consequently his rifle and
the rifle of his brother have to be seized. The respondent told him that if he
was paid Rs.5000/-, he would neither seize the guns nor would he arrest them.
Singh, PW1 stated that he touched the feet of the respondent and mentioned to
him that they are ready to pay Rs.3500/-. There was a settlement at a figure of
Rs.3500/- on the condition that this amount had to be delivered to the respondent
at the Vijay Misthan Bhandar on the same evening. Badan Singh, PW1 stated that
he had decided to get the respondent apprehended and consequently went to the
Superintendent of Police for that purpose.
complainant, Badan Singh, PW1 gave Rs.3500/- in the office of Superintendent of
Police. One police officer applied powder on the currency notes and Badan
Singh, PW1 was asked not to touch the currency notes. A trap was organized to
nab the respondent. The respondent came to Vijay Mishthan Bhandar on motorcycle
in the evening as decided on the appointed place to collect his bribe money of
Rs.3500/-. PW1 gave Rs.3500/- to the respondent which he kept in the right hand
pocket of his shirt and immediately thereafter on the complainant's moving his
head, the respondent was caught by the members of the trap party while
accepting the bribe money. The vigilance people got a solution of one powder
prepared. Aditya Chaubey, PW6 took out money from the right pocket of the
Aditya Chaubey had washed his hands in the solution. The colour of the water
that water was sealed in a bottle and the signature of PW1 was obtained. The
currency notes were sealed in an envelope and PW1 had appended his signature on
them. The motorcycle of the respondent was also seized. PW1 withstood the cross
examination and remained unshaken. Aditya Chaubey, who was posted at the
Industrial Development Centre, Gwalior also fully
supported the case of the prosecution. He also withstood the lengthy
Rai Sharma, PW11 who was posted in the office of the Special Police
Establishment also fully supported the case of the prosecution.
Prasad Sharma, PW2 also supported the prosecution version. Srikrishna, PW3, of
course, did not support the prosecution version. Jagmohan, PW4 also supported
the prosecution version. Other formal witnesses also supported the basic case
of the prosecution. The Special Judge also considered the entire evidence,
documents and a number of judgments of this Court and the High Courts and came
to a definite conclusion that the prosecution has succeeded in establishing its
case and found the respondent guilty of offence punishable under Section 7 and
13(1)(d) read with Section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and
sentenced the respondent with punishment of one year rigorous imprisonment and
a fine of Rs.500 under Section 13(1)(d) read with Section 13(2) of the said
Act. Under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act also the respondent
was sentenced to one year rigorous imprisonment. The Court directed both the
sentences to run concurrently and in case of non-payment of fine, the
respondent was directed to further undergo imprisonment of two months.
respondent aggrieved by the said judgment of the Special Judge preferred an
appeal before the High Court of Judicature at Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur at Gwalior Bench.
High Court again re-evaluated the evidence and set-aside the judgment of the Special Court on the following grounds:
That the Special Court wrongly placed reliance on the testimony of Badan Singh,
PW1. The High Court discarded his testimony on the ground that the upper right
pocket of the shirt is not the normal place for keeping the currency notes;
High Court discarded the prosecution version because according to the High
Court the upper right pocket of the shirt cannot contain 35 currency notes of
denomination of Rs.100/- unless they are folded;
The High Court also discarded the testimony of Badan Singh, PW1 on the ground
that perhaps he had forced his currency notes in the pocket of the respondent;
and (4) The High Court also found substance in the argument that the traces of
phenolphthalein powder can come in the hands of resisting respondent.
High Court allowed the appeal filed by the respondent and set-aside the
judgment of the Special
Court. The State of Madhya Pradesh being aggrieved by the said
judgment has filed this appeal on the ground that the High Court was clearly in
error in setting aside the well reasoned judgment of the trial court on totally
erroneous and untenable findings.
to the appellant - State of Madhya Pradesh,
the finding of the High Court that
Singh, PW1 had forced his currency notes in the pocket of the respondent is
The currency notes of Rs.3500/- were recovered in the presence of Badan Singh
PW1. The version has been fully supported by the two independent witnesses;
Singh PW1 had fully supported the prosecution version. Independent witnesses Aditya
Chobey, PW6 and Surender Rai Sharma, PW11 also supported prosecution story. The
High Court seriously erred in rejecting the prosecution version; and
The High Court erroneously rejected the prosecution version on the ground that
the bribe amount is not kept in the upper pocket of the shirt.
State of Madya Pradesh filed special leave petition
against the impugned judgment.
respondent in pursuance to the show-cause notice of this Court filed a detailed
counter affidavit stating that the High Court has carefully re-appreciated and
re-evaluated the evidence of the prosecution and conclusion arrived at by the
High Court is based on correct appraisal of the evidence on record, therefore,
no interference is called for by this Court as the appeal does not raise any
substantial question of law for consideration of this Court in its
extra-ordinary jurisdiction under Article 136 of the Constitution.
respondent also mentioned that Badan Singh PW1, the complainant supported the
story of prosecution. His version ought not to have been believed by this Court
because he had harboured some grudge against the respondent, particularly when
his own cousin Sri Krishna PW3 did not support the prosecution version.
stage, the respondent had alleged mala fides against the appellant. We find no
merit in this argument of the respondent.
to the respondent, the prosecution version does not inspire any confidence
because according to the prosecution story, the bribe amount was recovered from
the upper pocket of the shirt. Usually, bribe money is not kept in the upper
pocket. This argument of the respondent is also wholly untenable.
urged by the respondent that the entire story of the prosecution is fabricated
and no reliance should be placed on it by the Court. The learned counsel
appearing for the respondent submitted that a lenient view may be taken because
sending the respondent to jail after ten years would lead to tremendous
have carefully considered the rival contentions.
fact of recovery of Rs.3500/- from the respondent has been fully corroborated
by Badan Singh, PW1 and also by two independent witnesses, Aditya Chobey PW6
and Surender Rai Sharma PW11.
not find any merit in the submission that Badan Singh PW1 because of previous enemity
had falsely implicated the respondent in the instant case.
had placed no material to substantiate this argument.
also do not find any merit in the statement that the guns were not seized.
According to the prosecution version, when the respondent demanded and accepted
the bribe of Rs.3500/-, there was no question of seizing the guns.
careful examination of the prosecution evidence and the documents on record, we
too come to the definite conclusion that the respondent is clearly guilty of
the offence and the Special Judge was fully justified in convicting the
respondent under Sections 7 and 13(1)(d) read with Section 13(2) of the
Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The High Court erroneously set aside the
well reasoned judgment of the Special Judge.
view of the evidence and documents on record, it is difficult to uphold the
impugned judgment and consequently, the impugned judgment of the High Court is
set aside and the judgment of the Special Judge is restored.
difficult to accept the prayer of the respondent that a lenient view be taken
in this case. The corruption by public servants has become a gigantic problem.
It has spread everywhere. No facet of public activity has been left unaffected
by the stink of corruption. It has deep and pervasive impact on the functioning
of the entire country.
scale corruption retards the national building activities and everyone has to
suffer on that count. As has been aptly observed in Swatantar Singh v. State of
Haryana reported in (1997) 4 SCC 14, corruption is corroding like cancerous
lymph nodes, the vital veins of the body politics, social fabric of efficiency
in the public service and demoralizing the honest officers. The efficiency in
public service would improve only when the public servant devotes his sincere
attention and does the duty diligently, truthfully, honestly and devotes
himself assiduously to the performance of the duties of his post.
reputation of corrupt would gather thick and unchaseably clouds around the
conduct of the officer and gain notoriety much faster than the smoke.
Court in Hazari Lal v. State (Delhi Administration) reported in (1980) 2 SCC
390, observed that where the recovery of money coupled with other circumstances
lead to the conclusion that the respondent received gratification from some
person, the Court would certainly draw a presumption under Section 4(1) of the
Prevention of Corruption Act. In the instant case, the recovery of 35 notes of
the denomination of 100 is fully proved by Badan Singh PW1 and two other
independent witnesses Aditya Chobey PW6 and Surender Rai Sharma PW11.
consideration of the totality of the circumstances of this case, the
prosecution has been able to establish on the basis of evidence on record that
the respondent had received bribe and, therefore, he is guilty of the offence
under Sections 7 and 13(1)(d) read with Section 13(2) of the Prevention of
Corruption Act, 1988.
respondent was convicted by the Special Judge on the basis of overwhelming
evidence on record. The High Court without appreciating the facts of this case
in proper perspective set-aside the judgment of the Special Court. The reasoning given by the High
Court for setting aside the judgment cannot stand the test of scrutiny for a
moment and in this view of the matter. Consequently, the judgment and sentence
awarded by the Special
Court is restored.
The appeal filed by the State of Madhya Pradesh deserves to be allowed. It is directed accordingly.