Narayan Mohanty Vs. State of Orissa  INSC 663 (14 December 2000)
K.G. BALAKRISHNAN This appeal is directed against the conviction and sentence
of the appellant under Section 5(2) read with Section 5(1)(d) of the Prevention
of Corruption Act, 1947.
the relevant period, the appellant was working as Assistant in the office of
the Teshsildar. The appellant was entrusted with the work relating to mutation
of names in the Revenue record. PW-11, Jogendranath Dhal, approached the
appellant on 24.2.82 with 11 mutation applications in respect of different
persons. The prosecution case is that the appellant demanded Rs.7/- per
application as illegal gratification from PW-11. PW-11, reluctantly, agreed to
pay Rs.6/- per application and as he had no enough money to pay for all the
applications he submitted only three applications to the appellant and paid
Rs.18/- and promised the appellant that he would come after two days to submit
the remaining of the applications. The appellant told him that he would not be
present in office on 27.2.82 and directed PW-11 to come on 26.2.82. PW-11 was
annoyed by the demand of illegal gratification by the appellant and straightaway
went to the office of the Inspector of Vigilance and reported about the demand
of bribe made by the appellant. Based on the information given by PW-11, a case
was registered and a trap was proposed to be laid on 26.2.82. PW-11 gave
Rs.48/- to the Inspector of Vigilance along with eight mutation applications
and a slip containing the names of all the 8 applicants. Usual preparations
were made for the trap and PW-11, along with the other members of the trap
party, reached the office of the Tehsildar on 26.2.82. PW-11 handed over the
said eight applications and the currency notes to the appellant. Thereupon, the
members of the trap party seized the currency notes from the appellant and on
chemical examination using sodium carbonate solution the appellant's hands were
found to contain Phenolphthalein powder. The detection report was prepared and
on completion of the investigation, charges were framed against the appellant.
appellant admitted before the trial court that he had received Rs.48/- from
PW-11, but he denied having received any illegal gratification. He alleged that
on 21.2.82, DW-1, Rabinarayan Naik, had entrusted a sum of Rs.48/- to PW- 11
with instructions to hand it over to the appellant for the purchase of four litres
of mustard oil from Betanati. According to the appellant, PW-11 had withheld
the letter handed over to him by Rabinarayan Naik, DW-1, and simply handed over
Rs.48/- to the appellant to cheat him. The appellant had also alleged that
PW-11 was in the habit of cheating 'Adivasis' of the locality and on their
behalf he used to file false mutation applications.
appellant further stated that the appellant had filed a complaint against PW-11
with the local MLA and there ensued an inquiry against PW-11 at the instance of
Magistrate and that owing to the said incident, PW-11 was on inimical terms
with the appellant. The trial court as well as the High Court disbelieved the
version of the appellant and found the appellant guilty.
senior counsel, Mr. S.B. Sanyal contended before us that the case against the
appellant was not satisfactorily proved. It was also argued that the appellant
had not received any amount by way of illegal gratification and the amount
recovered from the appellant was paid by PW-11 for the purchase of mustard oil.
We do not find much force in the contention advanced by learned counsel for the
appellant in view of the clear and satisfactory evidence adduced by the
prosecution that PW-11 had visited the appellant on 24.2.82 and that he had
submitted 11 applications and the appellant demanded Rs.7/- per application and
unless this amount was paid he would not issue any notice on those
applications. It is also pertinent to note that along with the money recovered
from the appellant, the eight mutation applications were also found to be in
possession of the appellant. The three applications, which were filed earlier,
were also found in the office of the appellant. The defence plea set up by the
appellant is highly improbable. Even according to the appellant himself, he was
not having good relationship with PW-11. Therefore, it is not likely that DW-1
would have requested PW-11 to hand over Rs.48/- to the appellant for the
purchase of mustard oil. Even if such a demand was made by DW-1, PW-11 could
have declined the same. The appellant had also contended that DW-1, Rabinarayan
Naik, had reminded the appellant to purchase the mustard oil through a letter
which was passed on to him through another friend, namely, DW-2, Trailokyanath Mohapatra,
and this letter was not produced in court. All these facts would only prove
that the defence set up by the appellant is highly improbable.
appellant could not give any other satisfactory explanation for having received
Rs.48/- from PW-11. The courts below have rightly held that the appellant
accepted the tainted money as illegal gratification.
learned counsel for the appellant lastly prayed that the sentence awarded may
be reduced as the appellant has suffered other consequential punishment of loss
Having regard to this fact, we reduce the sentence of imprisonment from one
year to a period of six months. The sentence regarding fine shall, however,
sentence shall also be treated for the conviction under Section 161 I.PC.
appeal is dismissed accordingly. The appellant shall surrender forthwith to
undergo the sentence of imprisonment.