Saturday, 10 June 2017

Whether accused can be convicted in corruption case even if complainant turns hostile?

We have read and considered the evidence of PW-5 in its entirety. So far as demand made by the accused is concerned, accused PW-5 is clear and categorical in stating that the demand of ` 10,000/- was made. Merely because PW-5 was declared hostile with regard to certain other aspects of the evidence tendered by him, the entire evidence cannot be discarded. The evidence tendered by the said witness with regard to the demand in question can be accepted if the same is otherwise worthy of trust. We are of the view that the evidence of PW-5 insofar as demand of bribe is concerned passes the aforesaid test and commends to us for acceptance.
4. Insofar as recovery is concerned admittedly the marked currency notes of the denomination of 1,000/-, 500/- and 100/- (amounting to ` 10,000/-) were recovered from the left pocket of the jacket of the accused. PW-9 (panch witness) had proved the aforesaid recovery and also the test conducted by dipping the fingers of the accused in chemical of Sodium Bicarbonate. Though in the statement made Under Section 313 Code of Criminal Procedure, the accused had claimed that the sample of Sodium Bicarbonate was not taken in his presence, there is no cross examination of PW-9 on the said point.
5. In such circumstances and taking into account the totality of the facts of the case, we are of the view that the prosecution in the present case had succeeded in proving the demand of bribe and the acceptance and recovery of the offending bank notes from the possession of the accused.
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Crl. A. No. 1501 of 2011
Decided On: 24.02.2016
 S.C. Goel
Vs.
The State

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Ranjan Gogoi and Prafulla C. Pant, JJ.


Citation:(2016) 13 SCC 258

1. In this appeal the accused-Appellant, who was working as a Junior Engineer (Works) with M.C.D., has been convicted Under Section 7 and Section 13(1)(d) read with Section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (for short, the Act). The aforesaid conviction has been affirmed by the High Court though the sentence has been reduced to the minimum prescribed. We have heard learned Counsels for the parties. We have perused the elaborate judgment of the learned trial Court as well as the High Court and also the evidence of witnesses examined, particularly, PW-4, PW-5, PW-6, PW-7 and PW-9. It is contended before us on behalf of the Appellant that in the present case the prosecution has failed to prove both the demand and acceptance of the alleged bribe money. So far as the alleged demand is concerned, it is urged that PW-5, the complainant, who is the sole witness in this regard had turned hostile. It is also pointed out by referring to the evidence of PW-6 and PW-7 that there was no outstanding bills payable to the Contractor which fact would cause a serious dent in the case of the prosecution with regard to the alleged demand.
2. Insofar as recovery is concerned, it is urged that the sample of Sodium Bicarbonate solution in which the fingers of the accused were washed was not taken in his presence. The phenolphthalein test, therefore, cannot be relied upon to convict the accused-Appellant.
3. We have read and considered the evidence of PW-5 in its entirety. So far as demand made by the accused is concerned, accused PW-5 is clear and categorical in stating that the demand of ` 10,000/- was made. Merely because PW-5 was declared hostile with regard to certain other aspects of the evidence tendered by him, the entire evidence cannot be discarded. The evidence tendered by the said witness with regard to the demand in question can be accepted if the same is otherwise worthy of trust. We are of the view that the evidence of PW-5 insofar as demand of bribe is concerned passes the aforesaid test and commends to us for acceptance.
4. Insofar as recovery is concerned admittedly the marked currency notes of the denomination of 1,000/-, 500/- and 100/- (amounting to ` 10,000/-) were recovered from the left pocket of the jacket of the accused. PW-9 (panch witness) had proved the aforesaid recovery and also the test conducted by dipping the fingers of the accused in chemical of Sodium Bicarbonate. Though in the statement made Under Section 313 Code of Criminal Procedure, the accused had claimed that the sample of Sodium Bicarbonate was not taken in his presence, there is no cross examination of PW-9 on the said point.
5. In such circumstances and taking into account the totality of the facts of the case, we are of the view that the prosecution in the present case had succeeded in proving the demand of bribe and the acceptance and recovery of the offending bank notes from the possession of the accused.
6. In view of the aforesaid findings, we can find no error in the conclusion recorded by the learned trial Court and the High Court that the accused is liable for the offences Under Sections 7 and 13(1)(d) read with Section 13(2) of the Act. As the sentence has been reduced to the minimum awardable Under Section 13(2) (as then in force), there is no room for any further reduction of the sentence. Consequently and in light of the above, this appeal has to fail and is accordingly dismissed. The accused will serve out the remaining part of the sentence.
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