MOHAMMAD DASTAGIR Vs. STATE OF MADRAS UNION OF INDIA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: MADRAS)
STATE OF MADRAS
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Imam, J. -
(1.)This is an appeal on a certificate granted by the High Court of Madras.
(2.)The appellant was tried by the Special Judge of Tiruchirappalli under S. 165A of the Indian Penal Code for attempting to bribe Mr. Kaliyappan, Deputy Superintendent of Police of Ramanathapuram. The Special Judge came to the conclusion that the charge framed against the accused had not been established. He, accordingly, acquitted the appellant. Against the order of acquittal the State of Madras appealed to the High Court of Madras under S. 417 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The High Court came to the conclusion that the evidence established that the appellant had attempted to bribe the aforesaid Deputy Superintendent of Police. It accordingly convicted the appellant under S. 165A, Indian Penal Code and sentenced him to 6 months' rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 1,000, in default, to undergo further rigorous imprisonment for 6 months.
(3.)According to the prosecution case, the appellant attempted to bribe Mr. Kaliyappan, the Deputy Superintendent of Police, by offering him a sum of money contained in an envelope at his bungalow in the morning of June 14, 1954. In order to appreciate the circumstances in which the bribe was offered, reference to certain events which led to the incident on June 14 at the bungalow of the Deputy Superintendent of Police becomes necessary. In village Irwadi there are two factions one headed by the appellant and his brother and the other headed by the village munsif. On June 3, 1954 two complaints reached the Keelakarai Police Station, one by the appellant against the village munsif and the other by the village munsif against the appellant. According to the appellant on June 3, 1954 after prayers in the mosque the village munsif had abused him and had attempted to murder him with a knife. Some persons intervened and he managed to escape but was chased by the village munsif to his house. The version of the village munsif was that he was busy that day preparing the receipt for the release of the appellant's impounded cattle when the latter abused him, beat him with his shoe and kicked him in the stomach causing minor injuries. On June 5, 1954 the appellant met Mr. Kaliyappan at the Central Bus-stand at Madurai and handed over to him a petition, Ext. P-1 in which he complained against the village munsif. Mr. Kaliyappan made an endorsement on this petition directing the Inspector of Ramanathapuram Circle to send for both the parties and warn them against doing acts which would create a breach of the peace in the village and that this petition was not to be sent to the Sub-Inspector (P. W. 8) as it was alleged that he was siding against the appellant. On June 12, 1954, Mr. Kaliyappan sent a memo (Ext. P-2) to the Inspector of Ramanathapuram Circle directing him to take steps to see that peace was preserved in the village. The Police Officer was also asked to take action against the offenders with respect to whom there was evidence in connection with the occurrence of June 3, 1954. Mr. Kaliyappan also, in view of the situation, had directed this Police Officer to see whether steps should not be taken to seize the revolver of the appellant's brother Rashid for which he had a licence. The Inspector of Ramanathapuram Circle thereafter prepared a detailed report (Ext. P-7) of the result of his enquiry and handed it over to Mr. Kaliyappan on June 13, 1954. On the night of June 13, 1954, at about 10 p.m. the appellant went to the bungalow of Mr. Kaliyappan, the Deputy Superintendent of Police, at Ramanathapuram and complained against the Inspector of Police of Ramanathapuram Circle and the Sub-Inspector requesting the Deputy Superintendent of Police to look into the matter personally and not to leave the investigation exclusively in the hands of the Inspector. Mr. Kaliyappan told the appellant that he knew nothing about the case and could not say or do anything off hand and that the appellant should see him about a week later by which time he would have perused the record and would be in a position to look into his grievances. According to the appellant, however, the Deputy Superintendent of Police had asked him to come to him next morning.
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