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Shiv Raj Singh Vs. Delhi Administration - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1968SC1419; 1969CriLJ1; [1969]1SCR183
ActsPrevention of Corruption Act, 1947 - Sections 5(1), 5(2) and 6; Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 - Sections 53 and 161
AppellantShiv Raj Singh
RespondentDelhi Administration
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases ReferredMahesh Prasad v. The State of Uttar Pradesh
Excerpt:
.....was wrongly placed in wait list for said regular post though another employee had secured higher marks - rectification of mistake by respondent resulted in deletion of appellants name from list - appellants name was not sponsored by employment exchange held, plea that he should have been given preference over other employee since he has been working on periodical basis for long time is not tenable. appointment: [s.b. sinha & mukundakam sharma, jj] held, employment exchange authorities are bound to sponsor the names in accordance with seniority. name of a candidate can be sponsored only when his turn comes and not prior thereto. labour & services regularisation of services: [s.b. sinha & mukundakam sharma, jj] post of peon - appellant was appointed as a peon on a..........july 1963. in august 1963 miss eylene along with her newly born son came to the house of her uncle russel nathaniel in andrews ganj, delhi. since miss eylene was unmarried and could not keep the son with her, she asked russel nathaniel and his wife to make arrangement for the bringing up of the child. russel nathaniel knew roshan lal who had no child of his own and wanted to adopt a child. accordingly, on august 25, 1963 the child was handed over to roshan lal. after the child was handed over to roshan lal miss eylene went to the house of her sister's husband, n.k. lal, p. w. 11 and stayed there with her sister. it is alleged that on august 29, 1963 at about 9-30 or 10 p. m. the appellant went to the house of russel nathaniel in police uniform and accused russel nathaniel and his wife of.....
Judgment:

V. Ramaswami, J.

1. This appeal is brought, by special leave, from the judgment of the Punjab High Court dated February 17, 1966 in Criminal Appeal No. 63-D of 1964 affirming the conviction of the appellant under Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Act II of 1947) and Section 161 of the Indian Penal Code.

2. The case of the prosecution is that Miss Eylene (P. W. 2) used to live in 1962 with her father at Fazilka. She developed illicit connection with someone and became pregnant. In April 1963 she went to Ambala to her maternal aunt, who is employed as a sister in the Ambala Air Force Hospital, and gave birth to a son there in July 1963. In August 1963 Miss Eylene along with her newly born son came to the house of her uncle Russel Nathaniel in Andrews Ganj, Delhi. Since Miss Eylene was unmarried and could not keep the son with her, she asked Russel Nathaniel and his wife to make arrangement for the bringing up of the child. Russel Nathaniel knew Roshan Lal who had no child of his own and wanted to adopt a child. Accordingly, on August 25, 1963 the child was handed over to Roshan Lal. After the child was handed over to Roshan Lal Miss Eylene went to the house of her sister's husband, N.K. Lal, P. W. 11 and stayed there with her sister. It is alleged that on August 29, 1963 at about 9-30 or 10 p. m. the appellant went to the house of Russel Nathaniel in police uniform and accused Russel Nathaniel and his wife of disposing of the illegitimate child. The appellant further warned Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel that if they wanted to save themselves they should make some settlement with him and demanded a bribe of Rs. 1,000/- But Mr. Nathaniel paid him Rs. 90/- and agreed to pay later on a sum of Rs. 700/-. The appellant thereafter compelled Russel Nathaniel and his wife to execute a document in writing that they would pay him Rs. 700/- or agree to go to prison. It is said that the appellant asked Russel Nathaniel to bring to him Roshan Lal and when Roshan Lal was called, the appellant asked him to pay something to him. Roshan Lal expressed his inability to pay anything whereupon the appellant removed golden ring from his finger On the same night the appellant contacted the girl, Miss Eylene and wished to record her statement. Russel Nathaniel and his wife expressed their reluctance to send Miss Eylene with the appellant to the police station and therefore the appellant interrogated the girl at the residence of N. K. Lal, her brother-in-law. The appellant made her sign a paper and took the same with him On September 4, 1963 Russel Nathaniel and N.K. Lal decided to refer the matter to the anti-corruption department Accordingly, Russel Nathaniel went to D.S.P. Mukatdhari Singh who recorded his statement and called two witnesses to witness the proceedings. Russel Nathaniel produced seven currency notes of the denomination of Rs. 100/- each. The numbers of those currency notes were noted and Russel Nathaniel was then instructed to pass on the money to the appellant. Russel Nathaniel contacted the appellant and asked him to come to the house of N.K. Lal. They arrived at the house of N.K. Lal at about 7-30 or 7-45 p. m. The appellant sent for the girl because he wanted to reprimand her and thereafter he asked for the payment of the agreed amount. Russel Nathaniel handed over the currency notes to the appellant who put them in the left side pocket of his trousers. Russel Nathaniel then gave a signal and immediately D.S.P. Mukatdhari Singh turned up and recovered the currency notes from the pocket of the appellant. On being questioned the appellant told the D.S.P. that he never asked for bribe and that the money was paid to him in repayment of loan by him to Russel Nathaniel. The appellant produced in in the witness box Dharam Vir, F.C. Ram Saran, H.C. Jai Parkash and A.S. Kapur. After conclusion of the trial the Special Judge, Delhi accepted the prosecution case as correct and convicted the appellant of the charges framed against him and sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for two years and to pay a fine of Rs. 500/- or in default to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a further period of six months under Section 5 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, and to two years' rigorous imprisonment under Section 161, Indian Penal Code and ordered the substantive sentences to run concurrently. The appellant took the matter in appeal to the Punjab High Court. The High Court maintained the conviction of the appellant under Section 5 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 161, Indian Penal Code and also the sentence to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of two years awarded to the appellant on each count. The High Court, however, set aside the order with regard to the payment of fine or imprisonment in default.

3. In support of this appeal Mr. Chagla submitted in the first place that the order of sanction was bad in law as all the relevant papers and materials were not placed before the D. I. G. Police, Mr. M.P. Singh who was the sanctioning authority. Reference was made in tin's connection to the decision of the Judicial Committee in Gokulchand v. The King in which it was held that a sanction which simply names the person to be prosecuted and specifies the provision of the Order which he is alleged to have contravened is not a sufficient compliance with Clause 23. Mr. Chagla also referred to the evidence of P.W. 9, Sub-Inspector, Ascharaj Lal who said that 'all the papers relating to the case were sent to the D. I. G.' When cross-examined, he could not say which were the documents which were sent to the D. I. G. because they were in a sealed cover. In our opinion, there is no substance in the argument put forward by Mr. Chagla on behalf of the appellant. The Order of Sanction dated December 10, 1963 shows on the face of it what were the facts constituting the offence charged and that a prima facie case was made out against the appellant. The Order also further recites that Mr. M.P. Singh, D. I. G., 'after fully and carefully examining the material before him in regard to the aforesaid allegations' in the case, considers that a prima facie case is made against the appellant. It is manifest that the decision of the Judicial Committee has no application to the present case, for the order of sanction in that case was much more cryptic and materially different. We are satisfied that the order of sanction in the present case fulfils the requirements of Section 6 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. We accordingly reject the argument of Mr. Chagla on this aspect of the case.

4. It was then contended that the concealment of the birth of an illegitimate child was not an offence under the Indian Penal Code or any other criminal statute and if the appellant had obtained money from Russel Nathaniel, it cannot be said that the appellant had obtained a gratification for doing or forbearing to do any official act, or for showing or forbearing to show in the exercise of his official functions, favour or disfavour to any person. In other words, the argument was that the appellant could not prosecute either Miss Eylene or Russel Nathaniel or anybody else for any offence and obtaining of money by the appellant for refraining from any such imaginary prosecution cannot be said to be an offence under Section 161, Indian Penal Code or Section 3(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. We are unable to accept this argument as correct. When a public servant is charged under Section 161, Indian Penal Code and it is alleged that the illegal gratification was taken by him for doing or procuring an official act, it is not necessary for the Court to consider whether or not the accused public servant was capable of doing or intended to do such an act; see the decision of this Court in Mahesh Prasad v. The State of Uttar Pradesh, : 1955CriLJ249 . In the second place, the charge against the appellant is also under Section 5(1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act which states:

'5. (1) A public servant is said to commit the offence of criminal misconduct--

* * * * *(d) if he, by corrupt or illegal means or by otherwise abusing his position as public servant, obtains for himself or for any other person any valuable thing or pecuniary advantage, or'

5. Section 5 (2) states:

'(2) Any public servant who commits criminal misconduct shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine:

Provided that the court may, for any special reasons recorded in writing, impose a sentence of imprisonment of less than one year.'

6. Upon the facts which have been found by the High Court to be proved there can be no doubt that the appellant was guilty of grossly abusing his position as public servant within the meaning of Section 5 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and thereby obtained for himself a valuable thing or pecuniary advantage, and the charge under that section is established. We are therefore of the opinion that Mr. Chagla is unable to make good his argument on this aspect of the case also.

7. Lastly, Mr. Chagla submitted that the sentence of imprisonment was excessive. We are unable to accept this contention. Upon the finding of the High Court in this case it is manifest that the appellant grossly abused his position as a police officer and extorted money from Russel Nathaniel and his wife and also a gold ring from Roshan Lal The appellant in his official capacity as a police officer was expected to maintain a high standard of integrity and to uphold the maintenance of law. Instead the proved facts disclose that there was a gross abuse of his official position on the part of the appellant and in the circumstances of the case we are satisfied that the sentence imposed is not excessive.

8. For the reasons expressed we affirm the judgment of the High Court of Punjab dated February 17, 1966 in Criminal Appeal No. 63-D of 1964 and dismiss this appeal.


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