New Delhi Aug 23(ILNS): The Supreme Court, today, dismissed the plea filed by a man convicted and sentenced under the Prevention of Corruption Act for demanding and receiving illegal gratification of Rs 5,000.
A two-judge bench comprising of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Hrishikesh Roy categorically put to the Counsel of the appellant that there was no doubt he received the money. To which, Senior Counsel S. Nagamuthu replied it is an admitted fact.
“You kept the permission on hold and took the money, such as the serious allegations made against you,” retorted the bench, while dismissing the appeal against conviction and sentence.
Selvaraj approached the apex court against the order of the High Court of Madras wherein his conviction and sentence under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption case passed by the trial court was affirmed.
Selvaraj was working as a town planning Inspector in Nagapattinam Municipality. The de facto complainant is a Private Civil Construction Contractor, who applied for a building plan approval on behalf of Safia. The application for the building plan was submitted along with relevant documents to the Petitioner.
He was the authority to process the said application, but he denied processing the same. Even after obtaining the approval from the competent authority, namely, the Commissioner of Municipality, he did not despatch the same to the complainant but demanded a sum of Rs 5,000 and reiterated the demand. However, the petitioner handed over the approval to the complainant with a direction to part with a sum of Rs 5,000 for the same and also intimidated him that if he is not paying that amount, he may not get any further plan approval from the Municipality.
The Trap Lying officer conducted a Phenolphthalein test in the presence of the witnesses and their attestations were obtained.
The Counsel appearing for the appellant before Madras High Court had submitted that there was no demand in this case and the demand has not been proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
Also, the phenolphthalein test taken from the hands of Selvaraj as well as from the shirt pocket of Selvaraj establishes the money was received by Selvaraj.
The High Court of Madras noted that prosecution successfully established demand, bribe amount was also recovered from officer i.e Selvaraj in presence of Commissioner in charge.
The trial court found the appellant guilty for the offense punishable under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, convicted and sentenced him to undergo one-year rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs 1,500 and in default of payment of fine, to undergo simple imprisonment for one month. The appellant was also found guilty for the offense punishable under Sections 13(2) and 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, convicted and sentenced to undergo two years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs 1,500 and in default of payment, to undergo simple imprisonment for one month and the above said sentences are ordered to run concurrently./ILNS/KR/SNG