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Rajinder Singh v. State of Haryana - CRA-S-797-SB-1999  RD-P&H 10810 (20 November 2006)
CRL.A.No.797-SB of 1999
DATE OF ORDER:22.11.2006
State of Haryana
CORUM : HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE M.M. AGGARWAL .*.*.*.
Present: Mr. N.K. Sanghi, Advocate.
Mr. S.K. Hooda, Sr.DAG, Haryana.
This is an appeal against judgment dated 13.8.1999 passed by Additional Sessions Judge (Special Judge) Rohtak whereby accused- appellant Rajinder was Singh was convicted for offence under Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and was sentenced to undergo RI for three years and to pay a fine of Rs.5000/-, in default of payment of fine, he was to undergo further RI for three months.
Prosecution case against the accused-appellant is that he was posted as Draftsman in the office of XEN, Irrigation Department, Rohtak.
Temporary water courses were being sanctioned for three months. Then on CRL.A.No.797-SB of 1999 #2#
7.9.1993, Ram Kumar complainant had visited the office of Irrigation Department where accused met but then accused asked him that unless his palm is greased, water course could not be sanctioned to him. He (accused) had demanded Rs.400/500/- for this purpose. Since Ram Kumar was not having money, he was asked to come on the next day with the money and get the work done. Ram Kumar went to Additional Deputy Commissioner on 8.9.1998 and made application. Additional Deputy Commissioner constituted a raiding party comprising of Manoj Yadav Additional S.P Rohtak and SI Ashok Kumar for conducting raid. Rs.400/- tainted money was paid by Ram Kumar to the accused. Kishori Lal, who was shadow witness, signalled and then accused was arrested with tainted money.
Necessary formalities were completed and then after investigation, accused- appellant was challaned. Case was found to be proved. He was accordingly convicted and sentenced as aforesaid.
Counsel for the appellant had pointed out from the statement of complainant Ram Kumar,who appeared as PW8 that as per his statement when he went to the office then 4-5 persons were sitting and they had demanded Rs.400/500/- for doing the work and then he had gone to DC, Rohtak and narratted the matter. He was sent to ADC, Rohtak on the next day. Raid was to be conducted but the complainant Ram Kumar did not have the money then ADC had given money and got an application signed.
He pointed out that this witness stated that when he went to the office of the accused with tainted money, 4-5 persons were sitting and accused was not there. He kept the money in the file. Accused came and asked how much was the amount and he told that it was Rs.400/- and then police officials came and there was commotion. Accused lifted the bribe money from under CRL.A.No.797-SB of 1999 #3#
the file and he was apprehended. From this, counsel for the appellant had argued that even the complainant has not supported the prosecution case that it was accused, who demanded money and had accepted the money. It was argued that no reliance in the circumstances can be placed on the statement of other witnesses. It was argued from the statement of PW11 Vithal Ram, Retired Engineer-in-Chief of the Haryana Irrigation Department that the rice shoot channel is given to only owner of the agricultural land. It was pointed out that Ram Kumar admittedly did not have any land. It was argued that no reliance could be placed on the statement of Kishori Lal PW9 also, who had admitted that he had been witness in 2-3 other cases of similar nature.
It was argued that there was no demand and acceptance.
Counsel for the appellant relied on Suraj Mal v. State (Delhi Administration) (1979) 4 SCC 725.
However, PW8 Ram Kumar had stated that he had no land in his ownership but he had been getting such outlet every year by making applications in his own name and the Irrigation Authorities never told him that only the person in whose name the land stands can move such application.
In this case, T.V.S.N. Parsad, who had organized the raiding party and was posted as A.D.C at the relevant time had appeared as PW7 and stated that Ram Kumar had appeared before him and then had submitted complaint Ex.PC stating that Rajinder Singh employed as draftsman in the Irrigation Department, who was to process the papers in connection with sanction of a rice short for irrigation purpose, was demanding Rs.400/- and then Rajinder Singh had asked him to come on the next date. In his capacity CRL.A.No.797-SB of 1999 #4#
as Chairman of the District Level Vigilance Scheme, he constituted raiding party comprising of Manoj Yadav, Additional S.P. Rohtak and Ashok Kumar SI and Rs.400/- were handed over to Ram Kumar complainant.
Necessary formalities were done and then Kishori Lal and Ram Kumar had gone together. Ram Kumar handed over Rs.400/- to the accused in the office and then Kishori Lal had signalled the party and thereafter accused was arrested with the tainted money. Kishori Lal, who is Assistant in the office of Additional Deputy Commissioner, Rohtak had also supported the prosecution case in the same terms. Manoj Yadav, who was Additional S.P,Rohtak at the relevant time had also fully supported the case.
If PW9 Kishori Lal, who was working as Assistant in the office of ADC at the relevant time, had also been witness in 2-3 other cases of similar nature, he cannot be called to be a convenient witness. He stated that he had just been associated in two more corruption cases. He is an official of the Department and shall have no motive to depose against the accused.
PW7 was ADC at Rohtak on the day of raid and when he appeared in the Court as witness, he was Deputy Commissioner, Kurukshetra. PW10 was Addl.S.P, Rohtak and when he appeared as witness, he was S.P Panipat. There would be no cause for these officers to falsely implicate the accused and there is no further cause to disbelieve their statements. Name of the present appellant is mentioned in the complaint Ex.PC which had been submitted to ADC by Ram Kumar PW8. After this complaint Ex.PC was made then only proceedings for laying trap and conducting raid had been initiated.
Now it appears that Ram Kumar just to help the accused, has CRL.A.No.797-SB of 1999 #5#
changed his version and stated that 4-5 persons were present when the money was demanded. 4-5 persons were there when he went and kept the money under the file. This appears to be half-hearted attempt by Ram Kumar to help the accused.
In the facts and circumstances of the case, I am of the view that the prosecution case against the accused-appellant stood proved. He was rightly convicted for the offence under Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. There is no infirmity in the judgment of the trial Court.
As such, appeal is dismissed.
However, sentence of three years imprisonment appears to be on the higher side. Same is reduced to one and half year whereas that of fine is maintained.
November 22, 2006 ( M.M. AGGARWAL )
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