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Thursday, September 24, 2015

The proof of demand of illegal gratification, thus, is the gravamen of the offence under Sections 7 and 13(1)(d)(i)&(ii) of the Act and in absence thereof, unmistakably the charge therefor, would fail. Mere acceptance of any amount allegedly by way of illegal gratification or recovery thereof, dehors the proof of demand, ipso facto, would thus not be sufficient to bring home the charge under these two sections of the Act. As a corollary, failure of the prosecution to prove the demand for illegal gratification would be fatal and mere recovery of the amount from the person accused of the offence under Sections 7 or 13 of the Act would not entail his conviction thereunder.-2015 S.C.MSKLAWREPORTS In reiteration of the golden principle which runs through the web of administration of justice in criminal cases, this Court in Sujit Biswas vs. State of Assam (2013)12 SCC 406 had held that suspicion, however grave, cannot take the place of proof and the prosecution cannot afford to rest its case in the realm of “may be” true but has to upgrade it in the domain of “must be” true in order to steer clear of any possible surmise or conjecture. It was held, that the Court must ensure that miscarriage of justice is avoided and if in the facts and circumstances, two views are plausible, then the benefit of doubt must be given to the accused. The materials on record when judged on the touch stone of the legal principles adumbrated hereinabove, leave no manner of doubt that the prosecution, in the instant case, has failed to prove unequivocally, the demand of illegal gratification and, thus, we are constrained to hold that it would be wholly un-safe to sustain the conviction of the appellant under Section 13(1)(d)(i)&(ii) read with Section 13(2) of the Act as well. In the result, the appeal succeeds. The impugned judgment and order of the High Court is hereby set-aside. The appellant is on bail. His bail bond stands discharged. Original record be sent back immediately. -2015 S,C,MSKLAWREPORTS

         The proof of demand of  illegal  gratification,  thus,  is   the gravamen of the offence under Sections 7 and  13(1)(d)(i)&(ii)  of  the  Act and in absence thereof, unmistakably the charge therefor, would fail.   Mere acceptance of any amount  allegedly  by  way  of  illegal  gratification  or recovery thereof, dehors the proof of demand, ipso facto, would thus not  be sufficient to bring home the charge under these two sections of the Act. As a corollary, failure of the prosecution to prove  the  demand for illegal gratification would be fatal and mere  recovery  of  the  amount from the person accused of the offence under Sections 7 or  13  of  the  Act would not entail his conviction thereunder.-2015 S.C.MSKLAWREPORTS
  In reiteration of the golden principle which  runs  through  the web of administration of justice in criminal  cases,  this  Court  in  Sujit Biswas vs. State of Assam (2013)12 SCC 406 had held that suspicion,  however grave, cannot  take the place of proof and the prosecution cannot afford  to rest its case  in the realm of “may be” true but has to upgrade  it  in  the domain of “must be” true in order to steer clear  of  any  possible  surmise or conjecture.  It was held, that the Court must ensure that miscarriage  of justice is avoided and if in the facts and  circumstances,   two  views  are plausible, then the benefit of doubt must be given to the accused.     The materials on record when judged on the touch stone  of   the legal principles adumbrated hereinabove, leave no manner of doubt  that  the prosecution, in the instant case, has failed to  prove  unequivocally,   the demand of illegal gratification and, thus, we are constrained to  hold  that it would be wholly un-safe to sustain the conviction of the appellant  under Section 13(1)(d)(i)&(ii) read with Section 13(2)  of the Act  as  well.   In the result, the appeal succeeds.  The impugned judgment  and  order  of  the High Court is hereby set-aside.  The appellant is on bail.   His  bail  bond stands discharged.    Original record be sent back immediately. -2015 S,C,MSKLAWREPORTS

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