11 July 2021 3:54 PM GMT
Stressing that corruption is the deadliest enemy of every free civilized society, the Gujarat High Court last week observed that society has become a victim to the rampant corrupt practices of the public servants.Observing thus, the Bench of Justice Gita Gopi further remarked that private citizen's right to file complaints against a public servant and to obtain sanction for prosecuting...
Stressing that corruption is the deadliest enemy of every free civilized society, the Gujarat High Court last week observed that society has become a victim to the rampant corrupt practices of the public servants.
Observing thus, the Bench of Justice Gita Gopi further remarked that private citizen's right to file complaints against a public servant and to obtain sanction for prosecuting public servants flows from the rule of rule.
"The corruption at any level by any person of any magnitude is condemnable which cannot be ignored by the judicial officer," added the Court.
The matter in brief
The Court was hearing a petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and under Section 482 of the CrPC seeking appropriate action in connection with the threats given to the petitioner by an Investigating Officer and an Officer of DSP Squad (respondents no.5 and 6) in connection with an FIR registered against him.
The petitioner sought personal protection, inquiry, and investigation against them for having demanded money in view of illegal gratification from the applicant. The whole of the allegation was regarding the payment of bribe money.
Essentially, the respondents had demanded Rs.50,000/- from the applicant for his release on bail, however after negotiation, an amount of Rs.30,000/- was finalized which was to be paid after the applicant was released on bail.
It was submitted that the applicant was granted bail on February 17, 2019 by the police, however, since the demand of Rs.30,000/- had not been fulfilled, it was alleged that respondents threatened to seize his vehicle – Accent Car in case of non-payment of Rs.30,000/-.
Therefore, the applicant filed the instant petition seeking protection and necessary action, inquiry and investigation against the respondents
The Court, at the outset, highlighted that the object of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 is to make effective provision for the prevention of bribe and corruption rampant amongst the public servants. It is social legislation defined to curb illegal activities of the public servants and is designed to be liberally constructed so as to advance its object.
Further, the Court noted that the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, has developed the mechanism for raising the grievance of corruption by public servants.
"The Anti Corruption Bureau are set up in the State under the Act where the aggrieved can move his application," added the Court.
Significantly, the Court observed:
"In the instant case the applicant still, however, feels aggrieved by the alleged act of demand of bribe by a public servant, the recourse is available with him to go before the Anti Corruption Bureau or before the Competent Special Court by filing a complaint under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and get his grievance addressed under law."
Therefore, the Court said that it was open for the applicant to go by the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and therefore, the Court directed him to file an appropriate application before the appropriate authority.
Case title - Rajatkumar Kantibhai Patel v. State of Gujarat
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