Revati Mohite Dere, J. -
(1.) This appeal, preferred by the appellant - State of Maharashtra is directed against the Judgment and Order dated 8th June 2001, passed by the learned Special Judge, Pune, in Special Case No.5 of 1990, by which, the respondent no.1-accused came to be acquitted of the offences punishable under Sections 7, 13(1)(d) r/w 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and respondent no.2 came to be acquitted of the offence punishable under Section 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and under Sections 419 and 170 of the Indian Penal Code and both the respondents of the offence punishable under Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code.
(2.) A few facts, as are necessary, to decide the appeal are as under:-
The complainant is one Ramkishor Ramkripal Gupta, a resident of Hadapsar. According to him, he wanted to start an ice-candy factory, in a portion of his house, for which he required a 3 phase electric connection, for running 10 H.P Electric motor for the said intended icecandy factory. He has stated that for getting the said 3 phase electric connection, he had submitted an application on 10th March, 1989 in the office of the M.S.E.B. Pursuant thereto, the Executive Engineer, M.S.E.B, P.Z 'C' Zone, Pune, informed the complainant to contact the Assistant Engineer at Hadapsar. After receipt of the said letter on 18th March, 1989, the complainant went to the M.S.E.B. Office, Hadapsar, but could not meet the Engineer. On the next day i.e. on 19th March, 1989, the complainant again visited the M.S.E.B. office at Hadapsar at about 10.00 a.m, where he was informed that he should contact respondent no.1. Accordingly, the complainant met the respondent no.1 and enquired with him about the electric connection. The respondent no.1 traced the file of the complainant and informed him that he wanted to visit the site. Accordingly, the complainant took the respondent no.1 to the site, for inspection. According to the complainant, the respondent No.1 asked the complainant to drop him at Gadital, Hadapsar and told him that he will have to pay Rs.1,500/- as bribe if he wanted the work to be done immediately. The complainant expressed his inability and stated that the demand was excessive and that his financial condition was not good.
(3.) On 20th March, 1989, at about 9.30 a.m., the complainant again visited the office of the respondent No.1 at Hadapsar. According to the complainant, the respondent No.1 refused to accept an amount less then Rs.1,500/- and informed the complainant that unless said amount was paid, work will not be done. According to the complainant, there was one person who was sitting near the table of respondent no.1 and that when the complainant left the chamber of respondent no.1, the said person followed him and asked him to pay the said amount. The said person is stated to be respondent no.2. Admittedly, the said person was not in the employment of M.S.E.B and is stated to be a wireman. According to the complainant, thereafter there was some interaction again on 23rd, 24th March, 1989 and 12th April, 1989. It is alleged that the respondent-accused had disclosed to the complainant, that unless the demand was fulfilled, his work will not be done. He has stated that finally he asked respondent no.1 to reduce the amount and it was decided that an amount of Rs.1,000/- will be paid. According to the complainant, he felt that unless the said bribe amount was paid, his work will not be done and therefore, he approached the A.C.B Office and lodged a complaint dated 13th April, 1989 (Exhibit - 53). Accordingly, panchas were called on 15th April, 1989 and a trap was laid, after giving instructions to both, the complainant and the panchas. The trap which was laid for the said time was withdrawn and was thereafter again effected at 4.00 p.m. and thereafter, again a pre-trap panchanama was prepared. According to the complainant, the respondent-accused came to the shop of the complainant. It is alleged that the respondent no.1 informed the complainant, that the work had been done and that the respondent no.2 asked the complainant to complete his part of the work, pursuant to which, the complainant pulled out the bribe amount and allegedly held it in front of the respondent no.1. It is alleged that respondent no.1 asked the complainant to hand over the said amount to respondent no.2. Thereafter, a trap was effected and the respondent-accused were arrested. After investigation, charge-sheet was filed as against the respondent-accused.;