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'Corruption Mothers Disorder': Gujarat High Court Rejects Anticipatory Bail Plea Of Sub-Inspector Allegedly Involved In Bribery

PRIYANKA PREET
9 March 2022 4:35 AM GMT
Corruption Mothers Disorder: Gujarat High Court Rejects Anticipatory Bail Plea Of Sub-Inspector Allegedly Involved In Bribery
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"Corruption is not to be judged by degree, for corruption mothers disorder, destroys societal will to progress, accelerates undeserved ambitions, kills the conscience, jettisons the glory of the institutions, paralyses the economic health of a country, corrodes the sense of civility and mars the marrows of governance", the Gujarat High Court has reiterated. In observing so, it has refused...

"Corruption is not to be judged by degree, for corruption mothers disorder, destroys societal will to progress, accelerates undeserved ambitions, kills the conscience, jettisons the glory of the institutions, paralyses the economic health of a country, corrodes the sense of civility and mars the marrows of governance", the Gujarat High Court has reiterated.

In observing so, it has refused to grant anticipatory bail under Section 438 of CrPC to the Applicant accused of offences under Sections 384, 114 and 294B and 506(2) of IPC and Sections 7,12,13(1)(a) read with Section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988.

The Applicant (presently suspended) was serving as police sub-inspector in a Mahila Police Station in Bhuj. The Applicant along with the driver had intercepted a car wherein they discovered narcotic substances in a polythene bag in the car. The driver threatened the Complainant to book a false case under the NDPS Act unless 1 lakhs were paid to them. Thereafter, they negotiated and finalised the amount of INR 50,000.

The Applicant was quoted as saying, "as a main person, when he could not manage the remaining amount, then, booked him in NDPS Case", when the Complainant could not pay the full amount. Subsequently, the driver and the Applicant coerced the Complainant to pay the amount and even trebled it.

The informant filed an FIR against the accused driver and the Applicant for criminal intimidation and extortion and as a result, FIR was registered under Sections 384, 114, 294(B) and 506(2) of the IPC. It was also alleged that the driver had given INR 15,000 to the Applicant here. Consequently, Sections 7, 13, 13(1)(a) read with Section 13 (2) of the Act were added by the Investigating Officer.

The Applicant's anticipatory bail application was rejected by the Sessions Court on the basis that the Applicant was present during the incident and had partaken in the overt act of demanding and extorting money despite her post.

However, the Applicant contested that she had been falsely implicated in the case basis the statement of the co-accused. Further, there was no evidence to suggest that she had received 15,000 via Google Pay. No offence was made out under Section 384 since she did not make any conversation with the Informant when the car was intercepted. Section 17A of the Act also does not permit any arrest, inquiry or investigation into the offence alleged to have been committed by the public servant without prior approval of the State Government, which was not sought in the instant case.

Per contra, the Respondent authority contested that the Applicant ought to be denied bail considering the seriousness of the offence and the interest of the society at large.

Addressing these contentions, Justice Ilesh Vora remarked that the powers under Section 438 CrPC are extraordinary in nature and must be exercised sparingly. Hence, anticipatory bail can only be granted in exceptional circumstances where the Court is of prima facie view that the Applicant was implicated falsely. However, per Justice Vora this did not seem to be the case here, since the alleged act was in the knowledge of the Applicant. It was her duty to not harass the informant or if the substance was found, to report the case.

"A bare reading of the FIR, would show that throughout the incident, she did not restrain the driver Haribhai for alleged extortion and demand of illegal gratification which he demanded under the guise of registration of false case."

Referring to Section 17A, the Court affirmed that this provision was not applicable to caseas the case is not relatable to any recommendation made or decision taken by the applicant herein in discharge of official function or duties.

Reliance was placed on Velluswamy Vs State, 2019(8) SCC 396, wherein, it was observed by the Apex Court that "actions of direct evidence for demand and acceptance or conspiracy held, irrelevant if circumstantial evidence unhesitatingly points towards the accused as being a part of design for obtaining illegal gratification. Therefore, at this stage, the issue raised having no any merits."

In Subramanian Swamy Vs. C.B.I, (2014) 8 SCC 682, it was observed "corruption is an enemy of the nation and tracking down corrupt public servants and punishing such persons is a necessary mandate of the 1988 Act."

Accordingly, keeping in view these precedents and circumstances of the case, the Bench rejected the pre-arrest bail application.

Case Title: ARCHANA MUKESH RAVAL Versus STATE OF GUJARAT

Case No.: R/CR.MA/6233/2020

Citation: 

Click Here To Read/Download Judgment



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