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--------------- Print Magazine --------------
  May 2016
  April 2016

Presumption under Prevention of Corruption Act is essential to be Proved


V.D. Jhingan v. State of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 1966 SC 1762

Facts: The appellant was employed as Assistant Director, Enforcement, Government of India, Ministry of Commerce at Kanpur and used to deal with matters regarding the cancellation of licences of cloth dealers at Kanpur. On or about September 5, 1951 the appellant received a confidential letter, dated August 30, 1951 from the District Magistrate, Kanpur. On the same date the appellant called one Ram Lal Kapoor who was the Legal Adviser of New Victoria Mills Ltd. at his house. The appellant showed him the letter of the District Magistrate and on the strength of that letter he demanded through Ram Lal Kapoor a bribe of `30,000 from Sidh Gopal for saving his licence from being cancelled. It appeared that Sidh Gopal was a partner of various firms dealing in cloth and it was suspected that these firms were indulging in black-marketing in cloth. Sidh Gopal came to the appellant on September 9, 1951 to talk over the matter and the appellant made the same demand of bribe from him. On September 11, 1951, the appellant was alleged to have agreed with Ram Lal Kapoor to receive a sum of `10,000 as first instalment of the bribe from Sidh Gopal through Ram Lal Kapoor. Accordingly on September 11, 1951 at about 8 p.m. the appellant went to the house of Ram Lal Kapoor and accepted the bribe of ` 10,000 in currency notes and also a Than of long cloth from Ram Lal Kapoor undertaking that in lieu thereof the appellant would not report against Sidh Gopal and thereby save his licence from cancellation. A raid had been pre-arranged and the raiding party consisting of Shri Satish Chander and Shri Omkar Singh, the District Magistrate and the Senior Superintendent of Police, respectively, was lying in wait at the premises of Ram Lal Kapoor. At about 9:45 p.m. the appellant came out of the bungalow of Ram Lal Kapoor and on the agreed signal being given, the raiding party came and on search of the appellant an amount of ` 10,000 was found from his person. At the time of the recovery of the money the appellant made a statement that the amount received by him was a loan as he wanted to purchase a bungalow. The defence of the appellant was that he never negotiated with Ram Lal Kapoor or Sidh Gopal regarding the bribe and had been falsely implicated because he had prosecuted one Bhola Nath of one of the firms of Sidh Gopal under section 7 of the Essential Supplies Act and the District Magistrate had arrested Bhola Nath and kept him under detention under the powers conferred by the Preventive Detention Act. In order to take revenge for the arrest of Bhola Nath, Sidh Gopal and Ram Lal Kapoor had conspired together and falsely implicated the appellant.
The Special Judge disbelieved the case of the appellant and held that the prosecution evidence sufficiently established the charges under section 161, Indian Penal Code and section 5(2) read with section 5(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The findings of the trial Court had been affirmed by the Allahabad High Court in appeal which also rejected the case of the appellant as untrue and held that the amount of `10,000 was received by the appellant from Ram Lal Kapoor by way of illegal gratification and not as a loan for purchasing a house.

Issues: (1) If the word ‘gratification’ is construed to mean money paid by way of bribe then it would be futile or superfluous to prescribe for the raising of the presumption.
(2) Where the burden of an issue lies upon the accused, he is not required to discharge that burden by leading evidence to prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt.

To raise the presumption under section 4(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the prosecution has to prove that the accused has received “gratification other than legal remuneration’’. When it is shown that the accused has received a certain sum of money which is not his legal remuneration, the condition prescribed by the section is satisfied and the presumption must be raised. The mere receipt of “money’’ is sufficient to raise the presumption. Further the burden of proof lying upon the accused under section 4(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act will be satisfied if he establishes his case by a preponderance of probability as is done by a party in civil proceedings. It is not necessary that he should establish his case by the feat of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
The appeal for acquittal by the appellant was dismissed and his conviction by the High Court was restored by the Supreme Court.

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