Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir high court has set aside a Judgement of a trial court and acquitted Joint Director Consumer affairs and public distribution department (CA&PD) from charges of illegal gratification.
The Anti-corruption court Srinagar had convicted accused of taking a bribe and had awarded a punishment of two years with a fine of rupees 10,000 to the accused.
An appeal was filed by the accused through his advocate Altaf Haqani and Shakir Haqani before J&K High court.
Advocate Haqani pleaded before the court that the trial court without considering the facts of the case had convicted appellant. He argued that mere possession of money doesn’t justify that the accused has taken money as a bribe.
Stressing out that the case has been primarily turned down by main prosecution witnesses, the counsel for the petitioner submitted that trial has not viewed this case in the light of evidence produced.
The court of Justice MK Hanjura while acquitting the accused from charges of illegal gratification remarked that mere possession and recovery of currency notes from the accused without proof of demand and acceptance cannot be construed to mean that the offences levelled against the accused are proved.
“Even the recovery of currency notes has been made from the drawer of the office table and not from the search of his person, the court said and added that the witness produced by the prosecution doesn’t go by their version of the story.
“The complainant namely Bashir Ahmed has stated it in unequivocal terms that it was the orderly who had demanded Rupees 15,000 from him for his adjustment in posting. He has nowhere stated that the accused official has demanded money. Also, the shadow witness examined by the prosecution didn’t state that he has witnessed the crime. On these facts, accused cannot be convicted of the crime as the prosecution has miserably failed to prove the charges against the accused,” the court said.
The court observed that the judgement recorded by trial court is based on surmises, conjectures and presumptions which is against the canons of law.