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Allahabad High Court stays arrest of Revenue Inspector in bribe case registered at Delhi Gate Police Station

The Allahabad High Court has stayed the arrest of Revenue Inspector, Anupam Rana @ Anupam Singh in a case registered at Delhi Gate police station on charges of taking bribes.

The Division Bench of Justice Mahesh Chandra Tripathi and Justice Gajendra Kumar passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Anupam Rana @ Anupam Singh.

The petition seeks quashing of the F.I.R dated 19.02.2024 as Case under Sections- 7, 13(1) (B) of Prevention of Corruption Act, IPC, Police StationDelhi Gate, District- Meerut.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner is innocent and falsely implicated with ulterior motive.

The first information report is challenged on the ground that no offence under section 7, 13(1) (B) of Prevention of Corruption Act is made out against the petitioner as neither any money was recovered from the petitioner nor he has accepted any money as bribe.

He submitted that the petitioner is the Revenue Inspector and the role attributed to the petitioner is that he has made a provisional assessment of the two shops regarding house tax, except this no role has been attributed to him.

It is further contended that neither the petitioner has made any demand nor he has received any sum by way of illegal gratification.

He further submitted that the organizational structure of the Nagar Nigam, Meerut clearly shows that in the Tax Department, one Awadhesh Kumar Singh, the then Chief-Tax Assessment Officer was in charge of Zonal Officer of Shashtri Nagar, Meerut.

It is further clarified that demand notice/ Tax notices are liable to be distributed by the concerned clerk of the department and the same is prepared at the level of the clerk who is co-accused. The job profile of the Revenue Inspector is limited to inspecting the files and new house tax, mutation proceedings and submitting the report to higher officers i.e Tax Inspector who after obtaining the said report from the Revenue Inspector approves and forward the same to the Zonal Officer for initiating recovery proceedings.

Counsel for the petitioner has also placed reliance upon the Office Order dated 20.02.2022 issued by Nagar Ayukt, Nagar Nigam, Meerut.

Contention is that the petitioner has no competence to either reduce the bills or to give any rebate in the house tax but he is only a forwarding Authority with regard to the assessment proceedings being initiated for a particular area.

In support of his submission, counsel for the petitioner has placed reliance on the judgement passed by the Apex Court in the case of V Kannan Vs State, 2009 9 SCC 87 in view of which the offence is not made out from the FIR to prosecute the petitioner under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

A.G.A on the instructions states that investigation is in progress but he does not have detailed instructions in the matter.

The Court observed that the matter requires consideration.

“List this petition for admission on the date succeeding the date fixed in the notice for appearance of the respondents along with a tracking report.

Till the next date of listing or till submission of the police report under Section 173(2) Cr.P.C, whichever is earlier, the respondents are restrained to arrest the petitioner pursuant to the impugned F.I.R, subject to cooperation in the on-going investigation”, the court ordered.

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