Supreme Court Acquitted Man Accused Of Taking Rs 300 Bribe Twenty Years Ago

The Supreme Court in the case Jagtar Singh vs State of Punjab observed and has acquitted a man who was convicted in the year 2003, under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 for accepting the bribe of Rupees 300.
In the present case, the convict who was working as a cleaner was being accused for taking bribe to supply a copy of the death certificate to the complainant. The appeal filed by him was allowed by the Supreme Court against the concurrent findings of the trial court and of the Punjab And Haryana High Court.
The bench comprising of Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Bindal in the case observed and has noted that the demand of the illegal gratification was not proved in the case and as per the recent judgement being delivered by the Constitution Bench in the case Neeraj Dutta vs State, wherein the court stated that the demand and recovery both must be proved in order to sustain conviction under the Act.
It has specifically been observed by the Trial Court that the demand was not being proved. It has been stated in the High Court judgement which was being based on assumption that since money was recovered from the appellant, the demand must have been there and It has also been argued by the State that the fact that the phenolphthalein which coated currency notes with same serial numbers were recovered from the appellant in the presence of an independent witnesses and that the inference can be drawn that there was demand.
Therefore, it has also been held by the Supreme Court there was no such proof of demand.
Accordingly, the court observed that if the evidence which are produced on record by the prosecution is examined in the light of the law laid down by the Constitution Bench in the case Neeraj Dutta v. State (Govt. of N.C.T. of Delhi) (supra), wherein the court stated that the conviction and sentence of the appellant cannot be legally sustained.

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