Krishnamurthy Vs. State of Karnataka
 Insc 199 (29
Reddi & A.K. Mathur
out of SLP (Crl.) No.4330/2004) A.K. MATHUR, J.
appeal is directed against an order passed by learned Single Judge of the High
Court of Karnataka at Bangalore in Criminal Appeal No. 608 of 1998 whereby
learned Single Judge by his order dated June 10, 2004 has allowed the appeal of
State and set aside the order of the XXI Additional Sessions Judge and Special
Judge for CBI at Bangalore City whereby he acquitted the appellant accused
under Section 5(2) read with Section 5(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption
Act 1947 on the ground of sanction being invalid in CC No. 131/1990 dated 20th
facts necessary for disposal of this appeal are that the accused Sri C.S.
Krishnamurthy, Technical Supervisor, Bangalore Telephones, Bangalore was
charge-sheeted for the offence under Section 5(2) read with Section 5(1) (e) of
the Prevention of Corruption Act 1947 (hereinafter referred to as the
"Act") alleging that during the period from May 25, 1964 to June 27,
1986 he acquired assets disproportionate to his known source of income. On 27th June, 1986 he was in possession of movables
and immovable assets worth Rs.4,01,454.58 disproportionate to his known source
of income and did not give any satisfactory account. The CBI, Bangalore City, after completion of the investigation filed charge sheet
against the accused. The charges were framed against the accused and prosecution
examined 56 witnesses and marked exhibits P-1 to P.124. The statement of the
accused was recorded under Section 313 Cr.P.C. The accused filed the written
explanation. However, he did not choose to lead any defence evidence. The
learned Special Judge after hearing the parties framed following questions
which read as under:-
Whether the sanction order is valid?
Whether the prosecution proves beyond all reasonable doubt that the accused
being Technician and then Technical Supervisor in Bangalore Telephones, being a
public servant during the period from 25.5.1964 to 27.6.1986 acquired assets
which were disproportionate to his known sources of income as on 27.6.1986 as
the accused was in possession of movables and immovable assets worth Rs. 4,01,454.58
Ps. Which were disproportionate to his known source of income for which he
could not give satisfactory account?
Whether the prosecution has proved beyond all reasonable doubt that the accused
has committed the offence under Section 5(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption
Act, 1947, punishable under Section 5(2) of the said Act?
What order? " Learned Special Judge acquitted the accused and held that
there was no proper sanction. Learned Special Judge held that the prosecution
has failed to prove the valid Sanction under Exhibit P-83 and therefore,
prosecution is without jurisdiction and he acquitted the accused of all
charges. Aggrieved against the order, an appeal was presented by the CBI to the
Single Judge of the High Court of Karnataka, after examining the evidence came
to the conclusion that the sanction accorded by the prosecution is valid and
set aside the order of the learned Sessions Judge and remitted the matter back
to the Special Judge, CBI, Bangalore to register the case and to decide the
matter afresh after hearing both the parties. Aggrieved against this order of
the learned Single Judge, the present appeal has been preferred by the accused.
heard both the learned counsel for the parties and perused the record. Whole
case depends upon the sanction. Whether the sanction granted by the authority
is a valid sanction or not? In order to appreciate this controversy, we
reproduce the sanction order which reads as under:- "SANCTION ORDER
Whereas it is alleged that Shri C.S. Krishnamurthy while functioning as
Technician and then as Technical Supervisor, Bangalore Telephones, Bangalore,
during the period between 25.5.1964 to 25.6.1986, and, as on 27.6.1986 he was
found in possession of assets/properties/pecuniary resources to the tune of Rs.
4,01,454.58 Ps. Which are disproportionate to his known source of income
suggesting that the said Sri. C.S. Krishnamurthy acquired the said assets by
questionable means and/or from dubious sources and for which he cannot render
any satisfactory account/explanation.
the above said allegation is based on the following facts and circumstances:- Shri
C.S. Krishnamurthy joined the Telephone Department as Telephone Mechanic on
25.5.1964. He was promoted as Technical Supervisor and was working with
it has been made to appear that the total income earned by the said Shri C.S. Krishmurthy
from all known sources between the period 25.5.1964 to 27.6.1986 is Rs. 7,
91,534.93Ps. The income was from salary, GPF advances, the Rental income, the
interest amount received from Bank accounts, the loan amount received from LIC
towards house constructions, the dividend income, interest amount and gain in
respect of chits received from Navyodaya Sahakara Bank, Vyyalikaval House
Building, Co- operative Society, Vishalam Chit Funds and Reliance Industries,
loan received from friends and family members, gain towards sale of
scooter/car, sale proceeds of jewellery and income received by family members.
it has been made to appear that the total expenditure incurred by the said Shri
C.S. Krishnamurthy in the above said period from 25.5.1964 to 25.6.1986 was Rs.
it has been, made to appear that the total assets both movable and immovable
acquired by the said Shri C.S. Krishnamurthy during the check period from
25.5.1964 to 27.6.1986 amounted to Rs. 9,51,606.66Ps.
it has been made to appear that the said Shri C.S.Krishnamurthy during the
entire period of his service as a public servant have likely savings to the
tune of Rs. 5,50,152.08ps. only against which has had been found in possession
of total assets both movable and immovable to the tune of Rs. 9,51,606.66 ps.
The extent of disproportionate assets possessed by Shri C.S. Krishnamurthy as on
27.6.1986 comes to Rs. 4,01,454.58 Ps..
the said acts constitute offence punishable under Section 5(2) r/2 5(1)(e) of
the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947, (Act II of 1947).
whereas, I, V. Partha Sarthy being the authority competent to remove Shri C.S.
Krishnamurthy from office after fully and carefully examining the materials
placed before me in regard to the said allegations and circumstances of this
case, consider that the said Shri C.S. Krishnamurthy should be prosecuted in a
Court of Law for the said offences.
therefore, I V. Partha Sarthy do hereby accord sanction under Section 6(1) ) of
the Prevention of Corruption Act 1947 (Act II of 1947) for the Prosecution of
the said Shri C.S. Krishnamurthy for the said offences and any other offences
punishable under other provisions of Law in respect of the said offences by a
Court of competent jurisdiction." This sanction order was proved by Mr. V.
Parthasarthy, Deputy General Manager of Bangalore Telecom as PW-40, he was
competent authority to accord sanction and he accorded the sanction for
prosecution of accused for the alleged offence on 28th February, 1990 as per Ex.P. 83. He deposed that S.P. CBI sent a
report against the accused and he perused the report and accorded the sanction as
per Ex.P.83. He deposed that he was satisfied that there was a case for
prosecuting the accused for the alleged offence. He admitted that he received a
draft sanction order and a draft sanction order was also examined by vigilance
cell and then it was put up before him. He also deposed that before according
sanction he discussed the matter with the vigilance cell. He also admitted that
he was not a law man, therefore, he discussed the legal implication with a
legally qualified officer in the vigilance cell. He has denied the suggestion
that he did not apply his mind in according sanction. It is no doubt true that
the sanction is necessary for every prosecution of public servant, this
safeguard is against the frivolous prosecution against public servant from
harassment. But, the sanction should not be taken as a shield to protect
corrupt and dishonest public servant.
present case, a perusal of the sanction order itself shows that Shri C.S.
Krishnamurthy's income from all known sources between the period from May 25, 1964 to June 27, 1986 was Rs. 7,91,534.93 that income was from salary, GPF
advances, rental income, interest amount from bank accounts and loan amount
received from LIC towards house constructions, the dividend income, interest
amount and gain in respect of chits received from Navyodaya Sahakra Bank, Vyyalikaval
House Building Co-operative Society, Vishalam Chit Funds and Reliance
Industries loan received from friends and family members, gain towards sale of
scooter/car, sale proceeds of jewellery and income received by family members
and the total expenditure incurred by the accused during these period is
Rs.2,41,382.85 and the total assets acquired by the accused both movable and
immovable from May 25, 1964 to June 27, 1986 is Rs. 9,51,606.66 ps. Therefore,
the accused has to account for difference between the two.
sanction itself shows that there is something to be accounted by the accused.
When the sanction itself is very expressive, then in that case, the argument
that particular material was not properly placed before the sanctioning
authority for according sanction and sanctioning authority has not applied its
mind becomes unsustainable. When sanction order itself is eloquent enough, then
in that case only formal evidence has to be produced by the sanctioning
authority or by any other evidence that the sanction was accorded by a
competent person with due application of mind. In the present case the learned
additional sessions Judge took a very narrow view that all the papers were not
placed before the Court to show that there was proper application of mind by
the sanctioning authority. The view taken by learned Special Judge was not
correct and the learned Single Judge correctly set aside the order. In this
connection we may refer to a three Judge Bench decision of this Court reported
in  SCR 999 INDU BHUSAN CHATTERJEE was raised that a sanctioning
authority did not apply his mind to the facts of the case but merely perused
the draft prepared by the Police and did not investigate the truth of the
offence. The learned Judges after perusing the sanction order read with the
evidence of Mr. Bokil held that there was a valid sanction accorded by a
competent person. In this case, the accused was charged under Section 161 of
the Indian Penal Code and Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
accused was paid a sum of Rs. 100/- in marked currency as illegal gratification
at Coffee House for clearing some claims entrusted to him and same was found in
his possession. Sanction for prosecution of the appellant was sought from PW-5.
Mr.Bokil as a competent authority to grant sanction, he came in witness box and
he deposed that he accorded sanction for prosecution after proper application
of mind. On these facts the learned Judges observed that Ext. 6 on face of it
disclosed a valid sanction for prosecution. In the sanction order it was
disclosed that accused had accepted a bribe of Rs. 100/- for clearing claim
cases and he was trapped. Though sanctioning authority who came in witness box
could not answer some questions in cross examination, yet this Court held that
sanction itself is eloquent read with evidence of sanctioning authority and
same is valid. In the present case, the facts contained in the sanction order
read with evidence of sanctioning authority makes it clear that sanction was
properly accorded and is valid.
this connection, a reference was made to a decision of the Constitution Bench
in the case of R.S.Pandit vs. State of Bihar reported in  Supp. 2 SCR 652
wherein their Lordships after referring to a decision of the Privy Council in
the case of Gokulchand Dwarkadas Morarka v. The King [ AIR 1948 PC 83] observed
Section 6 of the Act also does not require the sanction to be given in a
particular form. The principle expressed by the Privy Council, namely that the
sanction should be given in respect of the facts constituting the offence
charged equally applies to the sanction under S.6 of the Act. In the present
case all the facts constituting the offence of misconduct with which the
appellant was charged were placed before the Government. The second principle,
namely, that the facts should be referred to on the face of the sanction and if
they do not so appear, the prosecution must prove them by extraneous evidence,
is certainly sound having regard to the purpose of the requirements of a
sanction." Therefore, the ratio is sanction order should speak for itself
and in case the facts do not so appear, it should be proved by leading evidence
that all the particulars were placed before the sanctioning authority for due
application of mind. In case the sanction speaks for itself then the
satisfaction of the sanctioning authority is apparent by reading the order. In
the present case, the sanction order speaks for itself that the incumbent has
to account for the assets disproportionate to his known source of income. That
is contained in the sanction order itself. More so, as pointed out, the
sanctioning authority has come in the witness box as witness No.40 and has
deposed about his application of mind and after going through the report of the
Superintendent of Police, CBI and after discussing the matter with his legal
department, he accorded sanction. It is not a case that the sanction is lacking
in the present case. The view taken by the Additional Sessions Judge is not
correct and the view taken by learned Single Judge of the High Court is
case of Balaram Swain v. State of Orissa reported in 1991 Supp. (1) SCC 510 the High Court reversed the finding
of the trial court that the sanctioning authority has not applied its mind on
the materials placed before him. It was observed in para 9 that the sanctioning
authority, namely, PW 4 has stated on oath that he perused the consolidated
report of the vigilance and fully applied his mind and thereafter issued the
sanction. The admission of PW-7 in that case that the entire record was not
looked into, was held to be not fatal to the sanction. The finding of the High
Court was affirmed by Apex
P.W.40, i.e. the sanctioning authority in the present case, has gone through
the report of the Superintendent of Police and after discussing the matter with
the legal department has accorded sanction. That is enough to show that there
is due application of mind in the present case.
attention was invited to another decision of this Court. In the case of Mansukhlal
Vithaldas Chauhan vs. State of Gujarat reported in (1997) 7 SCC 622, wherein
sanction was quashed because sanction for prosecution was given under the
direction of the High Court, therefore, it was held that it was not independent
application of mind by sanctioning authority as such sanction was invalid. In
this case, sanctioning authority who was supposed to apply its mind for granting
sanction was denuded of its power because of the direction given by the High
Court. Therefore, this case does not help the appellant.
our attention was invited to a decision of this Court In the case of State of
T.N. vs. M.M.Rajendran reported in (1998) 9 SCC 268. In this case, sanction was
accorded by the City Commissioner of Police, Madras. On that basis the trial commenced.
High Court found that all the relevant materials including the statements
recorded by the Investigating Officer was not placed for consideration before
the City Commissioner of Police, Madras because only a report of the Vigilance Department was placed before
him. The High Court came to the finding that although the Personal Assistant to
the City Commissioner of Police, Madras has deposed that proper sanction was
accorded by the City Commissioner of Police after going though the detailed
report of vigilance, but the statements recorded during the investigation was
not placed before sanctioning authority and therefore, there was no proper
application of mind by sanctioning authority, as such sanction was invalid. But
in the present case, the sanction order itself discloses the facts that the
incumbent is being prosecuted under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption
Act for accumulating moveable and immovable assets worth Rs.4,01,454.58 paise
which is disproportionate to his known source of income and he has failed to
give satisfactory account for the same. In the present case, facts mentioned in
sanction order are eloquent for constituting prima facie offence under Section
5(2) read with Section 5(1)(e) of the Act.
there is due application of mind by sanctioning authority and the sanction is
counsel for appellant submitted that offence was alleged to have been committed
in 1986, now after lapse of almost 19 years would it be advisable to proceed
with the matter. It is a matter of corruption and we cannot give any latitude
in such matters.
under these circumstances, we are of opinion that the view taken by learned
Single Judge of the High Court appears to be justified and there is no ground
to interfere in the present appeal.
the appeal is dismissed. However, nothing said herein or the High Court
excepting on the point of sanction should influence the trial court's decision
adverse observations made against the trial Judge are deleted.