Seventeen years after being accused of corruption, senior IPS Officer and Director General of Home Guards Jatinder Kumar Sharma has been given a clean chit by a Delhi court, which found no substance in the CBI's version that the officer held assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.
Special CBI judge Sarita Birbal acquitted Sharma, a 1982 batch IPS officer, who was booked under Section 13 (2) read with Section 13 (1) (e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Sharma was charged for having disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs. 8,14,310 in year 2000 when he was posted as Additional Commissioner of Police, Delhi.
The CBI registered an FIR in year 2000. The court took cognizance of the same in year 2004 while he was serving as ACP, Delhi.
Charges were framed against him in year 2006.
The court was convinced with the argument put forth by Sharma's advocate Harsh K Sharma, founder & managing director Prosoll Law Inc, who highlighted that the CBI had wrongly took into consideration the assets of JK Sharma along with the assets of his wife, who happens to be a leading business woman; contributing to the disproportion of assets.
"The law laid down by Hon’ble Supreme Court in DSP, Chennai vs K Inbasagaran clearly states that the income of the wife of the accused is liable to be excluded from consideration altogether," he had argued.
The court considered various expenses and savings of Sharma and his family to say, "The relevant income and savings at the beginning of check period for the purpose of the accused for present trial has been assessed at Rs 25,53,824. His expenditure has been assessed at Rs 12,90,280. Thus the likely savings of the accused as on 01.02.2000 would have been Rs 12,63,544. His net assets on that day have been assessed at Rs 14,76,938. Hence, excess assets in his hands over and above his likely savings at the end of check period would be Rs 2,13,394".
"It is well settled that an accused can hold additional assets to the extent of 10% of his total income over and above his likely savings," said the court relying on Krishnanand Agnihotri vs State of MP and other cases.
"This 10% in this case would come to Rs 2,55,382.40 [Rs 25,53,824 x 10/100]," the CBI judge said.
It also held that the excess assets in the hands of the accused would be further reduced by Rs 75,000, if all household expenses are taken into account.
"Thus, it must be held that CBI has failed to show that the assets in the hands of accused Jatinder Kumar Sharma were disproportionate to known sources of his income. The prosecution was under an obligation to show beyond reasonable doubt that the accused held assets which were disproportionate to the known sources of his income. Prosecution has failed to discharge this burden," the court held.