R.S. Bindra, J.C. -
(1.) THE appellant Kamini Kumar Deb Barma was tried on charges Under Section 161 Indian Penal Code and Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947, hereinafter referred to as the Act, along with one Hari Mohan Choudhary, who was hauled up under the said two provisions read with Section 109 Indian Penal Code. The Special Judge Shri T. K. Pal found the appellant guilty on both the charges and sentenced him to one year's rigorous imprisonment on each count with the direction that the sentences shall run concurrently. In addition, he sentenced him to a fine of Rs. 100 Under Section 5(2) of the Act or in default two months' rigorous imprisonment. The other accused was acquitted. Kamini Kumar challenges the validity of his conviction and sentence in the instant appeal.
(2.) THE occurrence culminating in the prosecution of the two persons, each one of whom was then an Assistant Tahasildar, took place on 2nd of December, 1962, at Mohanpur Bazar, Police Station Kotwali. In those days, according to the prosecution story, Kerosene oil was in great scarcity and so could be had only on the basis of permit issued by the Government. Such permits were given to the citizens on production of Adda tax receipts. Sachindra Chandra Deb Nath, P.W. 1, a resident of the village Ranirgao, went to the shop of Manindra Sarkar P, W. 4 in Mohanpur Bazar on 2 -12 -1962, on learning that Tahasildars were camping there for issuing the Adda tax receipts. He found, on reaching that shop, that the accused Kamini Kumar, the appellant, was sitting outside that shop, while the other accused Hari Mohan had taken seat inside the shop. He enquired from Kamini Kumar the amount he had to pay for getting Adda tax receipt. The accused in turn enquired from the witness if he had any landed property and on getting a reply in the negative, he (the accused) told the witness that 8 annas had to be paid by way of Adda tax and in addition he would be charged Re. 1/ - by way of costs. Sachindra Deb Nath pleaded his inability to pay the additional sum of Re. 1/ -, Kamini Kumar then told him bluntly that without payment of that Re. 1/ -no Adda tax receipt could be issued to him with the consequence that he would not get any coupon for purchase of kerosene. Sachindra Deb Nath felt downcast and so left for his house from where he returned a short while after with Re. 1/8/ - on his person. This time he noticed that P.W. 6 Bir Chandra Deb Nath, a member of the Panchayat of his village, was standing close to the two accused. He, therefore, took Bir Chandra into confidence and requested him to prevail upon the two accused not to charge him the extra amount of Re. 1/ -. Bir Chandra obliged him by approaching Kamini Kumar with the request to issue Sachindra Debnath the Adda tax receipt only on charging him 8 annas, the amount of the tax, but the only concession which Kamini Kumar could make on account of intercession of this witness was that he showed willingness to charge in all Re. 1/ - for issuing the Adda tax receipt. Sachindra then paid Re. 1/ - to Kamini Kumar and the latter issued the receipt Ext. P -1 showing that Sachindra had been charged only 8 annas by way of Adda tax. Sachindra did not feel reconciled to the illegal charge of 8 annas levied by Kamini Kumar. He, therefore, went on the next day, 3 -12 -1962, to Mohanpur Bazar to contact Jatindra Majumdar P.W. 2, an Homoeopathic practitioner, who was then Pradhan of the Gram Panchayat of village Purba Noagao. However, he could not meet the Doctor on that day. He, therefore, revisited his shop on the 4th of December and found him present on the premises. The occurrence of 2nd December was narrated before the Doctor and the latter drafted the report Ext. P -2 at the instance of Sachindra, who then went to the police station Kotwali and made over that report to the Sub -Inspector. A case was registered on the basis of that report. The Sub -Inspector collected the Adda -tax receipt Ext. P -1 produced before him by Sachindra.
(3.) ON 542 -1962 the Sub -divisional Magistrate, Sadar, permitted Shri Ramanuj Bhattacharjee, the Circle Inspector, Kotwali, to investigate into the case, registered against the two accused. On 6th of November, 1963, the District Magistrate, Tripura, sanctioned the prosecution of both the accused Under Section 161, Indian Penal Code and Sections 5(1)(a) and 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. On completing the investigations the two accused were charge -sheeted with the result already indicated above.;