Assistant Policing Director cleared of accusations of corruption

According to Sections 7, 13(1)(D) R / w, the Special Court, Prevention of Corruption Act, Shri V M Vaidya acquitted the accused Laxman Kendre for crimes punishable. Clause 13(2) of the Corruption Prevention Act, 1988.
In a nutshell, the prosecution case was that the complainant Sheik Rahman had lodged a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Bureau on 02/07/2015, Nagpur alleging that his son Sheik Shahrukh Sheik Raheman had eloped with a girl and that his son was subsequently arrested on 28/06/2015 and sent to police custody for 10 days. Through his complaint, the complainant claimed that on 01/07/2015, when the plaintiff and his nephew had visited the police station to meet his wife, the accused, i.e. Assistant Police Inspector Laxman Kendre met with them and told them that he would not beat his son in police custody remand and that when the police custody remand came to an end on 08/07/2015 and his son subsequently went to Central Jail, the accused would help the plaintiff get his son bailed out within a month and the accused demanded Rs. 1,50,000/ for favoring the plaintiff. The complainant was not prepared to pay the bribe amount and as such approached the Anti Corruption Bureau, Nagpur and filed a complaint narrating the above-mentioned facts.

The prosecution has led facts on the point of authentication proceedings and subsequent proceedings and the prosecution argued that the plaintiff in the presence of the Panch No.1 and Sheik Irfan, i.e. the nephew of the plaintiff, had handed over the tainted currency notes to the accused in his car after the alleged demand had been checked. When they handed it to the accused, the tainted currency notes were placed inside an envelope, and the complainant claimed to have held it in the accused’s car in front of the gearbox after the accused demanded the same. The versions of the prosecution are that, subsequently, the complainant gave the pre-determined signal to the trap team waiting in the vicinity, who then opened the car door and removed the currency notes from the front of the car’s gearbox and subjected the ultra-violet lamp to it and the blue colour mark was seen there. Likewise, the accused’s hands were also subjected to ultra-violet lamps, and the accused’s left palm and fingertips showed blue marks. After completing the formalities and obtaining the reports from the forensic laboratory, the investigating team claimed to have seized various articles, including the tainted notes, lodged prosecution against the accused of obtaining the necessary sanction. The learned advocate Prakash Naidu for the accused vigorously argued and submitted that the recorded evidence was visible and primaf Unless in any way granting the charge of obtaining or recovering the alleged amount of Rs. 1,00,000/-as claimed in the case of the prosecution, it was argued that the whole proceedings are vitiated in the absence of any proof of demand and that the claim must be proven in plain bold terms failing which no inference can be drawn against the accused. It was argued that the demand for unlawful gratification is a sine qua non to constitute the offense referred to in section 7 of the Act and unless it is proven beyond reasonable doubt that the accused knowingly accepted the money and knew it was bribe, no part of any allegation can be adversely affected by the accused’s interest and the entire proceedings are vitiated even if the notes were contaminated. It was argued that the initial burden of proving that the accused requested, accepted and obtained the amount other than legal remuneration pursuant to that request, lies with the prosecution and it is only when the prosecution succeeds in proving that the accused’s request has been proved that the burden of rebutting the presumption shifts to the accused and the accused As mentioned above, the Hon’ble Court took the view that, in the absence of evidence of claim, as the Hon’ble Apex Court held in the judgments referred to above, the theory of rebutting the assumption was ruled out because the prosecution had miserably failed to prove the initial request and without proving the basic aspect, any further proceedings were futile. The Special Judge V M Vaidya acquitted the accused, in appreciation of the evidence and arguments on record. The accused was represented by Adv Prakash Naidu aided by Adv Pankaj Thakre, Homesh Chavhan, Rahul Rathe, Surabhi Godbole, Mitesh Baid. The state is represented by Abhay Jikar.

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