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Jai Parkash Vs. State of Haryana - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1980CriLJ538
AppellantJai Parkash
RespondentState of Haryana
Cases ReferredChanan Ram v. State of Punjab
Excerpt:
- - , in chanan rain's case (supra), i am personally of the view that this fact is well known that phenolphthalein powder put in a solution of sodium carbonate would turn the colour of the solution to pink and for that reason a judicial notice can be taken of it without any specific reference to any book of science......25, 1976, at chhachhrauli he had obtained a sum of rs. 60 by way of illegal gratification from zile singh in connection with the supply of a copy of the jamabandi. according to the prosecution, this copy was required by zile singh p. w. 2, a resident of seepianwala, for enabling him to file a civil suit for injunction against a person with whom he was cultivating some land jointly.3. the whole of the prosecution version finds a mention in the first information report which was got recorded by shri jang bahadur mehta p. w. 10, deputy superintendent of police, jagadhri, who organised a raiding party when he received the relevant information from zile singh. a ruqa was sent from the spot at 3 p.m. on aug. 25, 1976 and on its basis the first information report was recorded at police.....
Judgment:

C.S. Tiwana, J.

1. Jai Parkash, who was employed as a Patwari at Kot Basawa Singh Circle, has filed the present appeal against the judgment dated Jan, 16, 1978, of the Special Judge, Ambala, whereby he was convicted for two offences under Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and under Section 161 I.P.C. For each of these offences he was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for one year and to the payment of a fine of Rs. 500. The substantive sentences of imprisonment were, however, ordered to run concurrently.

2. The appellant was tried on this charge that on Aug. 25, 1976, at Chhachhrauli he had obtained a sum of Rs. 60 by way of illegal gratification from Zile Singh in connection with the supply of a copy of the jamabandi. According to the prosecution, this copy was required by Zile Singh P. W. 2, a resident of Seepianwala, for enabling him to file a civil suit for injunction against a person with whom he was cultivating some land jointly.

3. The whole of the prosecution version finds a mention in the first information report which was got recorded by Shri Jang Bahadur Mehta P. W. 10, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Jagadhri, who organised a raiding party when he received the relevant information from Zile Singh. A ruqa was sent from the spot at 3 p.m. on Aug. 25, 1976 and on its basis the first information report was recorded at police Station, Chhachhrauli, at 4 p.m. the same day.

4. The prosecution version got proved at the trial can be stated with the help of the evidence as given by Zile Singh P. W. 2 and Shri Jang Bahadur Mehta P. W. 10 at the trial. According to Zile Singh, he at first obtained a copy of the khasra girdawari, Exhibit PD, from the appellant for which he obtained a fee of Rs. 40. When this copy was produced before Shri Inder Sain Channa P. W. 5, a lawyer of Jagadhri. it was learnt by Zile Singh that the proper charges for the supply of the copy were Rs. 4 only. The lawyer asked Zile Singh to bring a copy of the jamabandi for ascertaining the names of all the co-owners in relation to which the suit was required to be filed. Zile Singh then contacted the appellant who agreed on August 24, 1976 to supply the required copy on receiving a sum of Rs. 60 at Chhachhrauli at about 12 noon on the next day. The appellant had a residential house at Chhachhrauli and made it known to Zile Singh that he would be available there along with the relevant record. Zile Singh decided not to pay any bribe to the appellant and for that reason contacted Shri Jang Bahadur Mehta P. W. 10 on August 25, 1976, at about 11 a.m. Zile Singh took along with him Hem Raj P. W. 3 who belonged to his village, They met another person named Sher Singh of a neighbouring village and all three of them went to the Deputy Superintendent of Police together. According to Shri Jang Bahadur Mehta P. W. 10, a written complaint was handed over to him by Zile Singh. He obtained some phenolphthalein powder and sodium chloride and gave this demonstration to Zile Singh that any currency note smeared with the said powder, if washed in a solution of sodium chloride, would turn pink. Zile Singh then produced five currency notes of the total value of Rs. 60 and after applying the powder to them handed them back for being paid as bribe on demand. Shri Jang Bahadur Mehta took along with him Sub-Inspector Kanwal Kishore P. W. 9 and the whole party then went to the Civil Rest House, Chhachhrauli. Two municipal commissioners of that place who were Suraj Kumar P. W. 4 and Devi Dayal were called upon to join the raiding party. By sending somebody to the house of the appellant it was got ascertained that he was there. Zile Singh then narrated this story that Hem Raj P. W. 3 went with him inside the room where the appellant was doing some work. Sher Singh remained outside so as to watch what was happening inside. At the appropriate time he was to give some pre-arranged signal to the police party. After the appellant informed Zile Singh that the copy was ready, the currency notes of the value of Rs. 60 were handed over to him. He took them in his hands and then put them in a pocket of his shirt which he was wearing. After receiving the signal from Sher Singh the police party came there. Shri Jang Bahadur Mehta told about this fact that on seeing him the appellant went into the courtyard where he was overpowered. He was told about the charge against him and then a total sum of Rs. 75 was got recovered from his person and this amount included the tainted money. The hands of the appellant were then got washed in a solution of sodium chloride and the solution which turned pink was preserved in a bottle, Exhibit P10. It was at that stage that a ruqa for the registration of a case was sent.

5. The appellant was conscious of this fact that he was to explain his presence at Chhachhrauli situated at a distance of about nine miles from his patwarkhana. He put forward this story in his examination recorded at the trial that a Peon and a Qanungo had come to him on August 24, 1976, and directed him to come over to the Rest House at Chhachhrauli, as information about some flood work was to be obtained. According to the appellant, on the next day when he went to the Rest House none was found to be there. He then went over to the police station and there he learnt that the Deputy Superintendent of Police wanted to see him. He was asked to come over again. The appellant then said that he went to his house for the taking of his meals, and thereafter met the Deputy Superintendent of Police at the Rest House. It was enquired from him whether he had obtained a sum of Rs. 40 for supplying the khasra girdawari and when he refused to admit that fact, he was said to have been arrested and involved in the present case.

6. The first argument of the learned Counsel for the appellant is that there is a defective sanction granted by the Col-Lector for the prosecution of the appellant. The prosecution examined Shri Gurdial Singh P. W. 1, Reader to the Deputy Commissioner, Ambala, who proved the signatures of Shri L. M. Mehta granting the sanction, Exhibit PA. He also said that the record of the case was gone through by the Collector with the help of the Assistant District Attorney. According to the learned Counsel, the Assistant District Attorney should have been produced for showing what were the facts which were made known to the Collector when he was asked for the grant of the sanction. Reliance has been placed on a judgment of the learned Single Judge of this Court in Criminal Appeal No. 715 of 1972 (Harbans Singh v. State of Punjab) decided on Feb. 21, 1974. It was such a case in which the Collector had mentioned in the order of sanction that he had carefully examined the material be-fore him with regard to the allegations against the accused and the circumstances of the case and thereafter he concluded that there was a prima facie case for the prosecution of the accused. The order in the abovesaid judgment did not at all refer to the contents of any document nor to the statement of any witness. The order of sanction was so vaguely worded that it could have been not prepared and signed without having looked at any part of the record. In the present case, there is a detailed reference to the prosecution case itself and then about the manner in which the bribe was alleged to have been paid. There was also reference to the evidence about the recovery of the sum of Rs. 75 which included the tainted sum of Rs. 60. All this could not have been stated by the Collector unless he had himself gone through the record or at least it had been read over to him by somebody else. The judgment in Harbans Singh's case (supra) was itself based on Jaswant Singh v. State of Punjab : 1958CriLJ265 . It had been remarked there in that it should be clear from the form of the sanction that the sanctioning authority considered the evidence before it and after a consideration of all the circumstances of the case sanctioned the prosecution. The order of sanction in the present case being materially different from the order of sanction that was involved in Jaswant Singh's case (supra), what was said by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in that case cannot be taken to be a guide for holding the sanction invalid in the present case.

7. Secondly, it was urged by the learned Counsel that Hem Raj being such a witness who was a resident of the same village as Zile Singh should not have been relied upon by the trial Court. Unless both of them had some associations with each other they would not have gone to either to Jagadhri. Hem Raj was not in any manner interested in favour of Zile Singh or against the appellant. As against Suraj Kumar P. W. 4, it was urged that he had been instrumental in the demolition of a chabutra in front of the house of the appellant. Suraj Kumar was a municipal commissioner and if the municipal authorities ever took action against the appellant, this kind of inference could not be drawn that demolition had taken place at the instance of Suraj Kumar. There is, however, no evidence on record for showing that any demolition of the chabutra ever took place. Great stress was laid on some of the discrepancies occurring in the statements of the different witnesses for putting forward this argument that no raid had at all been conducted and that the whole case was fabricated against the appellant by the police while sitting at the Rest House. The first discrepancy is said to relate to the place where the appellant was actually arrested for the recovery of the amount. Zile Singh P. W. 2 said that the accused had been apprehended in the same room where the money was given. The statement of Hem Raj P. W. 3 on this point is that when the Patwari started going inside his house the police reached there. He was said to have crossed the door for entering the courtyard so as to go to the other portion of the house. Suraj Kumar P. W. 4 deposed that when the Deputy Superintendent of Police entered the room the accused got up and while he was going towards the courtyard he was apprehended in the courtyard itself. Sub-Inspector Kanwal Kishore P. W. 9 gave this statement that on seeing the police party the accused tried to go inside the courtyard and he was apprehended in that courtyard which was in front of the kitchen. The site plan, Exhibit PI, shows that a room intervened between the place where the money was said to have been handed over and the kitchen in front of which the appellant was said to have been arrested. The statement given by Shri Jang Bahadur Mehta P. W. 10 is virtually the same as given by the Sub-Inspector. All the statements cannot be said to be materially discrepant with regard to the place of arrest. This was the natural conduct of the appellant that he ran away towards the courtyard on seeing the police. He must have then been brought back to the room where he received the money and the same was recovered from his person there.

8. The learned Counsel for the appellant then referred to the discrepancies on the point as to what was said by the appellant immediately after Shri Jang Bahadur Mehta enquired from him about the tainted money. According to Sub-Inspector Kanwal Kishore, the appellant Was said to have denied the allegation made against him. On the other hand, Shri Jang Bahadur Mehta deposed that the appellant on seeing him got perplexed and did not say anything. It cannot at all be said that the appellant had said different things to the two witnesses. A reference was then made by the learned Counsel to the statements of the different witnesses for showing that they deposed differently on the point as to who had handled the money after it was recovered. Hem Raj P. W. 3 deposed that the currency notes after being taken from the appellant had been handed over to Suraj Kumar P. W. 4 who tallied the numbers with those already noted in a list. Suraj Kumar stated on this point that the numbers were got tallied by the Deputy Superintendent of Police himself after taking out a parcha from his pocket. This kind of discrepancy cannot in any manner lead to this inference that they were deposing about some fictitious raid. Somehow or other, Zile Singh said while being cross-examined that his hands were also got washed in the room from which the appellant was arrested. The water was then said to have been put in a bottle. According to Hem Raj P. W. 3, the hands of Zile Singh were not at all got washed at Chhachhrauli. Suraj Kumar P. W. 4 also said that there was no washing of the hands of Zile Singh at Chhachhrauli. There was no occasion for the washing of the hands of Zile Singh after the arrest of the appellant and in case the hands had been washed, the solution must have been kept by the police for being produced at the trial. All that can be said is that Zile Singh mistakenly deposed about the washing of his hands at Chhachhrauli.

9. The police did not take into possession any record from which the copy intended to be supplied was to be prepared. The appellant himself examined Shri Malik Singh D. W. 1, Qanungo of Chhachhrauli,, who deposed that he had found by several Inspections that the whole of the revenue record was being kept by the appellant at the patwarkhana located at Kot Basawa Singh. This kind of conclusion cannot be drawn from these circumstances that the appellant did not have any record with him at Chhachhrauli from which he could prepare the copy in relation to which he had accepted the bribe. The police considered this circumstance to be enough that the appellant had accepted a bribe and then it was for him to explain that it was not accepted by him by way of illegal gratification. The appellant could at the time of his arrest urge upon the police that his house should be searched and any record present there should be taken into possession.

10. Great reliance has been placed by the learned Counsel for the appellant on the observations made in a Single Bench authority of our High Court reported as Chanan Ram v. State of Punjab (1878) 80 Pun LR 242. S. S. Dewan, J., noted this fact that no evidence had been produced by the prosecution that if the phenolphthalein powder is applied to the currency notes then some powder will stick to the currency notes and the inner side of the pocket wherein the same were put and if this part of the shirt is dipped in the water the same would turn pink and consequently it would connect the accused with the commission of the crime. Further it was noted that no expert opinion or book of science regarding the mode of detection of phenolphthalein powder was examined. It was then concluded that the testimony of witnesses regarding the use of phenolphthalein powder in the alleged recovery of the currency notes from the person of the appellant in that case could not be accepted to be correct. In the instant case, the pocket of the shirt of the appellant from which the currency notes were recovered was not washed in a solution of sodium carbonate. During the course of the cross-examination of Zile Singh P. W. 2, the pocket of the shirt was washed in water and this evidence was then obtained from him that the water did not change its colour. It has to be noted that there would have been a change in colour if the pocket had been dipped in a solution of sodium carbonate and thus what was demonstrated to the Court did not disprove that the currency notes had once been put by the appellant in his pocket. I have found the evidence of the different witnesses produced in this case to be sufficient for proving that the recovery of the currency notes had been made from the person of the appellant and the mere fact that no further expert evidence to prove the presence of the traces of phenolphthalein powder in the pocket was produced would not in any manner create any doubt about the truthfulness of the prosecution version. With regard to the other observation of Dewan, J., in Chanan Rain's case (supra), I am personally of the view that this fact is well known that phenolphthalein powder put in a solution of sodium carbonate would turn the colour of the solution to pink and for that reason a judicial notice can be taken of it without any specific reference to any book of science. Anyway, there is no need to refer this case on this minor point to a larger Bench, as even by discarding the evidence as shown by the change of the colour of the solution, the offence alleged against the appellant can be taken to be proved. The instant case relates to the recovery of the currency notes from the person of the appellant. If the recovery had been made from some other place where the appellant might have placed the currency notes it was necessary for the prosecution to prove that on some occasion the appellant had himself handled the currency notes so as to negative the theory of deceitful plantation. Furthermore, there is this corroborative piece of evidence that the appellant was present away from the place of his work and was found at such a place where he had previously agreed to receive the bribe from Zile Singh, The explanation given by the appellant for his presence at Chhachhrauli at the time of the raid cannot be reasonably taken to be true, The appellant could not have awaited the arrival of the police at a place where he could not be asked to be present. If anybody wanted some information from him he should have come to his patwarkhana at Kot Basawa Singh.

11. I thus uphold the conviction of the appellant for both the offences for which he was convicted. However, no separate sentence of fine was required to be imposed in relation to the offence under Section 161 of the Indian Penal Code and the amount of fine with regard to that offence is remitted. The remaining part of the sentences is confirmed, The appeal thus stands partially accepted in relation to the sentences awarded to the appellant. The appeal in relation to the convictions is dismissed.


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