G.C. Gupta, J.
1. This is an application under Section 397/401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure against the order dated 28-5-1984 passed by Shri L. J. Mandlik, Special Judge, Bhopal in Special Case No. 2 of 1983 framing charges against the applicant under Section 5(1)(e) read with Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act).
2. The applicant was a Minister of Industries of the State of Madhya Pradesh from 27-6-1977 to 17-1-1978, after which he became the Chief Minister with effect from 18-1-1978 and continued as such upto 19-1-1980. It is alleged that he has been found in possession of properties worth Rs. 57,61,101/- which was disproportionate to his known sources of income and for which he cannot satisfactorily account. He is, therefore, alleged to have committed an offence punishable under Section 5(1)(e) read with Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. After the charge-sheet was filed and the applicant appeared before the learned Special Judge, objections to the validity of the trial and his prosecution were taken, which remain disposed of by the order impugned. That explains why and how the applicant has approached this Court invoking its revisional jurisdiction, as aforesaid.
3. The submission of the learned counsel for the applicant is that the investigation of the offence was wholly illegal and unauthorised being violative of Section 5-A(1) of the Act. According to the learned counsel, the investigation was carried on by Shri V.N. Pandit, Dy. Superintendent of Police, Shri Y.K. Tiwari, Shri U.N. Singh and Shri M.L. Yadav, Inspectors of Police, and was illegal, inasmuch as, there was no order of the Superintendent of Police authorising these persons by name. According to the learned counsel, a general authorisation without giving reasons does not meet the legal requirements of this provision. It is, therefore, submitted that the learned Special Judge has no jurisdiction to take cognisance of the crime and frame the charge. Referring to Section 5(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, it is submitted that since the applicant had not been afforded an opportunity to satisfactorily account for the money in question, it must be held that the investigation is incomplete and charge-sheet premature. It is further submitted that the evidence collected during investigation and presented to the learned Special Judge does not even prim a facie disclose commission of an offence under Section 5(1)(e) or Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and hence the impugned order, is illegal. The learned Dy. Advocate General, however, submitted that there is no illegality in the authorisation or the investigation. Referring to the Notification published in 1980 M. P. Law Times (Part II), page 12, it is submitted that some selected Inspectors of Police have been authorised to carry on investigation in all such cases and, therefore, the investigation was legal and valid. It is further submitted that not only Shri V. N. Pandit, D.S.P., but also 13 other Inspectors of Police have been properly authorised to conduct the investigation in the instant case and, therefore, the investigation has been done by persons having jurisdiction in the matter. It is also submitted that Investigating Officer had requested the applicant more than once to explain how the aforesaid amount has been accumulated/possessed by him, but he has failed to do so and, therefore, prosecution has been left with no other alternative than to file the charge-sheet. It is further submitted that the evidence on record consists of 843 documents and 314 witnesses and is sufficient to indicate existence of a prima facie case against the applicant It is further submitted that the applicant, by filing the present application, is making an unnecessary effort to delay the trial and cause embarrassment to all concerned. A prayer is, therefore, made to reject the revision. It is further submitted that the present revision is not maintainable in view of the decisions in V.C. Shukla v. State of M. P., AIR 1980 SC 962 and Praful Turkhia v. Sewa Ram Rajput, 1982 JLJ Short Note 34. Section 5-A of the Act provides for the Police Officers who are authorised to investigate any offence under Section 5 without the order of the Magistrate. As far as our State is concerned, no Police Officer below the rank of Dy. Superintendent of Police has this authority. This, however, is the general rule and admits several exceptions. The first exception to this rule is that an Inspector of Police authorised by the State Government in this behalf may also investigate any such offence without the order of a Magistrate. The second exception is in relation to offence under Section 5(1)(e) of the Act and provides that it shall not be investigated without the Order of a Police Officer not below the rank of a Superintendent of Police. The purpose of this provision is to prevent harassment of a public servant by requiring application of mind to the facts and circumstances of the case. In spite of it, it has been held by Supreme Court in Khandu Sonu Dhobi and Anr. v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1972 SC 958 that a trial held would not be rendered illegal because of invalidity of preceding investigation nor conviction of an accused would be vitiated as a result of such trial, unless it is shown that the accused has been prejudiced because of the illegality in investigation. However, since the challenge is made at the beginning of the trial, the question of prejudice caused to the applicant during the trial does not arise. In spite of it, the complaint being concerned with an illegality must be examined. The complaint of the applicant appears to be that the State Government has generally authorised all Inspectors of Police attached to the Criminal Investigation Department (Economic Offences) Wing, Bhopal without naming any particular Inspector and hence this authorisation does not meet the requirements of proviso to Section 5-A(1) of the Act This Court is unable to find any substance in the submission. A bare reading of the proviso indicates that the State Government is entitled to authorise Inspectors of Police by general or special order. The word 'general' as an adjective to the word 'order' sufficiently indicates that the authorisation does not have to be either to a particular Police Officer or in relation to a particular offence. The authorisation in the instant case is specifically issued under this provision and is intended to authorise all Inspectors working in a particular establishment. This apparently meets the requirement of the provision. It is true that the Government can also authorise any particular Inspector of Police to conduct investigation in a particular case, but such authorisation would be a special authorisation not general. Since the power conferred by this provision is to issue both types of authorisation, this Court finds no illegality in the authorisation issued.
4. It was, therefore, submitted that the order issuing authorisation contains no reasons and, therefore, should be held to be illegal. Reliance has been placed in Supreme Court decisions in State of Madhya Pradesh v. Mubarak Ali, AIR 1959 SC 707 and Munnalal v. State of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 1964 SC 28. These cases are decided when the proviso empowering the State Government to confer authority on an Inspector of Police did not exist and, therefore, these cases do not support the aforesaid proposition. Then, the power to deviate from the general rule was conferred on a Magistrate and the question for consideration was whether a Magistrate is required to consider facts and circumstances of the case before permitting such deviation. The process before a Magisterial Court is the judicial process and, therefore, it was expected of the Magistrate to apply its mind to the facts and circumstances of the case and permit deviation from the normal rule only when a case was made out. Since the Parliament amended the provision and granted power to the State Government, the normal rule itself became subject to an exception. In case the Parliament wanted the State Government to write a similar order, as required of a Magistrate, they would have certainly made a specific provision in that behalf. In the absence of any such provision, it is difficult to read this requirement into this proviso. Then, it cannot be overlooked that the power is vested in the State Government, which is ultimately responsible for the administration of the State and prosecution of persons for offences. The State Government being the highest authority of the State is presumed to be acting in furtherance of sound public policy and after considering the resources available to it. It is well established that vesting of power in a high authority is by itself a guarantee for its just and fair exercise. It cannot be overlooked that the authorisation was issued on 5th July, 1978 when the applicant himself was the Chief Minister. This by itself is sufficient guarantee that the power was not exercised with a view to wreak vengeance upon him. In this view of the matter, this Court finds no substance in the submission and has no hesitation in rejecting me same.
5. The next submission that no one was authorised by an officer above the rank of Superintendent of Police is really based on the assumption that the authorisations in favour of the Investigating Officers should have been filed along with the charge-sheet. Those authorisations were subsequently filed and permitted by the trial Court. This Court in Cri. Revision No. 339 of 1984, Virendra Kumar Saklecha v. State of Madhya Pradesh decided on 1-5-1987 has upheld the order of the learned Judge and hence the very basis of this submission must be held to have disappeared. Even otherwise, authorisations have been issued by Shri G. N. Ahuja, Dy. Inspector General of Police, who is admittedly an authority superior in rank, than a Superintendent of Police and sufficiently meets the requirements of this provision.
6. It was, however, vehemently submitted that material on record does not indicate that the applicant had been afforded a reasonable opportunity of satisfactorily accounting for the money in question and, therefore, the prosecution is premature. It is no doubt true that Section 5(1)(e) of the Act provides that if any person is found to be in possession of pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to his known sources of income, he has to satisfactorily account for the same. He is said to be committing offence under this provision only if he fails to satisfactorily account for it. In the instant case, the applicant directly or through his relatives is said to be in possession of money and property worth Rs. 57,61,102.00, which is apparently disproportionate to his known sources of income. He was asked by the Investigating Officer to explain its acquisition. There are documents on record (Documents Nos. 799 and 800) to indicate that the applicant was asked to explain these acquisitions, but he did not or could not explain. Whether this opportunity was sufficient or not is a moot question. This provision, however, does not require the Investigating Officer to delay filing the charge-sheet only because the applicant did not find it convenient to satisfactorily explain these acquisitions. Then, the satisfaction contemplated by this provision is the satisfaction of the Court trying the offence and empower to punish the applicant. That stage has not yet come. In case the prosecution succeeds in proving acquisition of property by the applicant as claimed, it will be the applicant's burden to satisfactorily explain these acquisitions and show that he has not committed an offence under this provision. The procedure followed by our criminal Court is heavily loaded in favour of an accused person and presumes his innocence unless proves otherwise beyond reasonable doubt In this procedure, more than sufficient opportunities are available to an accused person to explain to the satisfaction of the Court that the acquisitions are not tainted with corruption. Under the circumstances, the Court is unable to discover any illegality in the charges framed or the investigation as conducted.
7. It was thereafter vehemently submitted that the material on record does not justify framing of the charge. According to the learned counsel for the applicant, though mere is evidence of some persons making allegations against the applicant, allegations by themselves are not sufficient to frame the charge. Reliance has been placed in Krishnand v. State of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 1977 SC 796. Krishnand's case did not deal with the requirements of framing a charge and the matter raised before the Supreme Court was of presumption contained in Section 5(3) of the Act. This case, is, therefore, not an authority for the proposition under debate. The matter was very recently considered by the Supreme Court in J. P. Sharma v. Vinod Kumar Jain, AIR 1986 SC 833 and it was observed that the question at this stage is not whether there is any truth in the allegations made, but the question is whether on the basis of the allegations, a cognizable offence or offences had been alleged to have been committed. The facts subsequently found out to prove the truth or otherwise of the allegation is not a ground on the basis of which the complaint can be quashed. The learned counsel himself admits that there are allegations of acquisitions of property disproportionate to his known sources of income. It is also apparent that the applicant has not been able to give any account of the aforesaid property. This by itself indicates that basic requirements of Section 5(1)(e) remain fully satisfied. We are not concerned with the truth or otherwise of these allegations at this stage, as the same would be investigated during the trial. In spite of it, it is clear that in case the fact of acquisition is established in accordance with law and the applicant is not able to satisfactorily account for the same, he would be guilty of the offence. This Court is, therefore, unable to discover any illegality in the charge as framed.
8. Very serious arguments were, however, addressed to this Court about the party affiliation of the applicant and the Government and it was suggested that the prosecution was nothing, but applicant's political victimisation. The learned counsel went to the extent of observing that the applicant was "carrying the cross" and was likely to be victimised for the said purpose. Apparently, the applicant has exaggerated notions about his personality. He also apparently has mistaken belief that a person holding office only carries the cross. The one, who carried the Cross for the humanity and was crucified, is worshipped today by millions all over the world. The applicant, is found guilty of the allegations, even if these amount to carrying the Cross would be sentenced and jailed and not crucified. If this happens, there will be no one to worship him, but the world will condemn him for not only being corrupt, but also of not honouring the faith of the people. A public office provides an opportunity to serve and not mint money. Those, who think that a public office is an opportunity to be prosperous apparently do not have clear concept of duties and responsibilities of a public office and for that reason atone are disqualified to hold the same. Considering the constitutional responsibility of this Court to protect the provisions of the Constitution, which embodies the faith of our people, this Court will have no regard to the High Office or political affiliation of an accused person and would proceed with the trial strictly in accordance with law only to ascertain if he is really guilty of allegations made against him. Any attempt by any one to overpower the Court and the judicial process on political considerations would not be permitted to succeed. Under the circumstances, this Court would only assure the applicant of an independent and fair trial strictly in accordance with law and would expect that the applicant would not demand any different treatment or consideration from the Court only because he was once upon a time the Chief Minister of our State and face the trial as any ordinary citizen of the country would do. Too much stress on an irrelevant fact is likely to be misunderstood and not give him any benefit. This Court honestly believes that it is in the interest of the applicant himself to permit the trial to be completed speedily so that his innocence, which he so seriously claims, is established without delay. That alone will rehabilitate him in public life, and add credit to our system of administration of justice.
9. While dismissing this revision, this Court would also like to record its anguish about the manner in which it has been treated by the applicant. On 19-3-1987, this case had come up for hearing, when Shri S.C. Datt, learned counsel for the appellant sought an adjournment. Since this case was pending since long without any justification, this Court found no reasons to grant the request. Several adjournments had been earlier granted and 19-3-1987 was the date fixed by consent of both the parties. Since the request for adjournment was rejected, Shri Datt expressed his inability to make oral submissions. He was, therefore, given an opportunity to file written submissions if he wishes. Later on, written submissions were filed by Shri Datt and were under consideration. In spite of it, an application (IA. No. 1013 of 1987) was made by the applicant making unnecessary allegations against this Court and submitting that this Court would not be able to do justice in the matter. It was alleged that I, before my appointment as a Judge of this Court, had appeared in an appeal on behalf of the State Government and had argued an application for condonation of delay. In the said application, it was submitted that the Government headed by the applicant did not consider it proper to file the appeal, but the subsequent Government considered the matter of importance and, therefore, filed the appeal with an application for condonation of delay. No personal allegations against the applicant were made in the said application nor were orally submitted for consideration of the Court. The subject matter of the said appeal is not even remotery connected with these cases and yet the applicant alleged that this Court would be prejudiced against him. This Court felt distressed at the light heartedness with which this application was fled and expressed its concern to the learned counsel for the applicant. The learned counsel, however, stated that the application was filed without his knowledge and information and he could not associate himself with it. This further reinforces the feeling that the applicant has exaggerated notions about his own personality and is willing to take risk in the Court even by by-passing Senior Advocate, whom he has engaged for his benefit Since he had once acted as the Chief Minister of this State, this Court expected a little more dignified behaviour from him. Honesty and integrity of our law Courts are beyond doubt and are going to be his saviour, if at all. Growing confidence of our masses as reflected in large number of cases is perhaps the best illustration of this judicial creed and culture. It is in the applicant's own interest to realise that speed, dignity and decorum are the essential parts of our system and no Judge would like to sacrifice them even at the instance of an erstwhile Chief Minister. If he had studied precedents on such matters and had applied his independent mind, he would have certainly realised that such efforts have been held to be nothing sort of bullying the Court to obtain undeserved benefits. In spite of it, this Court would not like to comment further in the matter and remain satisfied by rejecting the application holding the same groundless and frivolous. This Court would be happy if the applicant himself ponders over the matter and makes amends. The least that he can do in the matter is to resolve not to make such efforts before the trial Judge and permit the trial to go on and be completed speedily and without delay.
10. The appication fails and is dismissed.