1 IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY, NAGPUR BENCH : NAGPUR Criminal Appeal No. 25 of 2003 Appellant : State of Maharashtra, through Deputy Superintendent of Police, Anti-corruption Bureau, Amravati versus Respondents : 1) Prabhakar Narayanrao Raibole, aged about28 years, P. C. No. 1834
2) Shirish Devisingh Rathod, aged about 25 years, PSI Both of Police Station, Mangrul Dastgir, District Amravati Ms Nivedita Mehta, Addl. Public Prosecutor for appellant-State Shri S. G. Joshi, Advocate for respondents Coram : S. B. Shukre, J Dated : 15th May 2017 ::: Uploaded on - 16/05/2017 ::: Downloaded on - 17/05/2017 00:52:34 ::: 2 Oral Judgment
1. This appeal is directed against the judgment and order dated 24.9.2002 passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Amravati in Special (ACB) Case No. 9 of 1989 whereby the respondents/accused have been acquitted of the offences punishable under Sections 161, 165 (k) read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 5 (1) (d) punishable under Section 5 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
2. Learned Additional Public Prosecutor for the appellant-State contends that the demand and acceptance in this case has been duly proved. According to her, appreciation of the evidence of the prosecution made by the Additional Sessions Judge is perverse and, therefore, this is a fit case for interference. However, Shri Joshi, learned counsel for the respondents seriously disputes the submissions advanced on behalf of the appellant. He submits that no perversity could be noticed in the impugned judgment and order as the conclusions drawn by the Additional Sessions Judge are based on the evidence available on record.
3. On going through the impugned judgment and order and record of the case, I find that there is no merit in the arguments of learned Additional Public Prosecutor and there is substance in the arguments of learned counsel for the respondents.
4. This is a trap case where respondent no. 1 was allegedly caught red-handed while accepting bribe amount of Rs. 150/- at the behest and on behalf of respondent no. 2. At the relevant time, respondent no. 2 was posted as Police Sub-Inspector at Police Station, Mangrul Dastagir and respondent no. 1 ::: Uploaded on - 16/05/2017 ::: Downloaded on - 17/05/2017 00:52:34 ::: 3 was posted as Police Constable. It was the case of the prosecution that a bicycle belonging to the complainant was deposited with Police Station by some unknown person. Complainant wanted to have custody of that bicycle. But for that, a bribe amount of Rs. 150/- was demanded by respondent no. 2 from the complainant and the complainant was asked to fulfill the demand by handing over the bribe amount to respondent no. 1. However, it is seen from the prosecution evidence, on the crucial aspect of demand of bribe, the complainant turned hostile. Complainant PW 1 Nana Pawar in his cross-examination admitted that it were his friend Moreshwar Shirpure who had suggested to him that on getting back the custody of the bicycle, the complainant should pay amount of Rs. 150/- to Rs. 200/- to respondent no. 2. The complainant admits that the demand of money was not made by respondent no. 2 and he did not ask respondent no. 1 to accept the amount. The complainant also admits that when the bribe amount was kept in the pocket of respondent no. 1, respondent no. 2 was not present there and was present in his bungalow. In these circumstances, Moreshwar's evidence became crucial, but unfortunately, Moreshwar was not examined as a witness by the prosecution. Therefore, the admissions given by the complainant would assume importance and which throw entire prosecution case into a mire of doubt. Such being the nature of evidence, one can only say that the learned Additional Sessions Judge had no other alternative than to give benefit of doubt to both the respondents which he seems to have done and rightly so. The inferences drawn by learned Additional Sessions Judge are entirely based upon the prosecution evidence and cannot be seen as not at all arising from the facts established on record. The view taken ::: Uploaded on - 16/05/2017 ::: Downloaded on - 17/05/2017 00:52:34 ::: 4 by the learned trial Judge is possible and when this happens, the scope of interference by the High Court in an appeal against acquittal is reduced to zero level. There is no merit in this appeal and it deserves to be dismissed.
5. The appeal stands dismissed.
S. B. SHUKRE, J joshi ::: Uploaded on - 16/05/2017 ::: Downloaded on - 17/05/2017 00:52:34 :::