STATE OF MAHARASHTRA Vs. SHIVPAL PRALHADRAO SHARMA
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY (AT: NAGPUR)
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
Shivpal Pralhadrao Sharma
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(1.) This is an appeal preferred against the judgment and order dated 29.11.2003, delivered by the Special Judge and Additional Sessions Judge, Akola, in Special Case No. 4/2000, thereby acquitting the respondent of the offences punishable under Sections 7 and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (hereinafter referred to as, the P.C. Act, for short).
(2.) In the year 1994-95, the respondent was serving as Electrical Inspector with Municipal Council, Akola. During that period of time, the complainant, Shriram Shegokar, upon a contract awarded to him had completed electrical work for Municipal Council, Akola. Its value was of Rs. 40,000/-. The payment of the bill, however, was not made by the Municipal Council, Akola. The respondent being an Electrical Inspector, was responsible for preparing the order-sheet containing his recommendation for payment of the bill and submitting the same for signature of Chief Officer and President of the Council. The respondent, it was alleged, was not doing his job and was waiting for the complainant to pay him some amount as illegal gratification for performing his work of recommending the bill for payment to the complainant. On 10.4.1997, the complainant had made a request to the respondent to pass his bill. But, the respondent told him that unless the complainant paid him 10% of the total bill amount, i.e. Rs. 4,000/-, the respondent would not clear the bill. On 15.4.1997, also, the complainant was told the same thing by the respondent, although it was brought to the notice of the respondent that the subsequent bills of some other contractors were passed by him. Having been left with no option, the complainant promised to fulfill the illegal demand of the respondent within 8 to 10 days. The respondent gave the complainant time till 23.4.1997 to bring the bribe amount of Rs. 4,000/-.
(3.) On 23.4.1997, unwilling as he was to pay the bribe amount, the complainant lodged a report with Anti Corruption Bureau, Akola against the respondent. It was decided that the respondent would be entrapped while accepting the bribe amount. So necessary preparations were made. The trap was set on the same day at the office of the respondent. The trap proved to be successful as the respondent was found to have accepted the tainted currency notes consisting of 6 notes of Rs. 500/- denomination and 10 notes of Rs. 100/- denomination, totaling to Rs. 4,000/- and kept them in the office file. These tainted currency notes were recovered from the office file. Both the hands of the respondent were found to be sullied with phenolphthalein powder, which was applied to the currency notes. Necessary panchanamas were drawn out. Statements of witnesses were recorded. After completion of the investigation, a charge-sheet was filed against the respondent.;
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