Thursday, March 30, 2023

Delhi HC says people facing corruption charges may not be promoted

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The Delhi High Court on Thursday observed that those who are facing corruption charges or other such proceedings may not be promoted while hearing the plea of Sanjeev Sharma, director of Sports Authority of India, challenging the order of Special CBI judge, framing of charges. 

The petition has been filed before the Delhi HC by the Director of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) who has challenged the framing of the charge order by the Special Judge Rouse Avenue Court and he has also challenged the constitutional validity of Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA). 

While hearing of the matter on Thursday, the petitioner’s counsel submitted before the court that mere recovery of money isn’t sufficient to bring conviction under Section 7 of PCA. Challenge is to the order passed by the Special CBI Judge and to the constitutional validity of Section 7 of PCA which came into effect recently. The special judge has dismissed my petition, despite no recovery of money in my case.

Chief Justice DN Patel- How much amount was found from your possession? 

Petitioner-Rs 17,000 + Rs 16,000, which was allegedly recovered from my coat pocket. 

CJ-Were you in your office? Why were you going to office with Rs 17,000 and Rs 16,000 in your pocket? 

Petitioner-That amount was taken from ATM.

Chief Justice DN Patel-This is for the trial, can a person go to office by taking 30-40,000 in his/her pocket. In which bank he has account, in a private bank or a nationalised bank. I am sure it must be in private bank. You can manage everything in any private bank. What was this withdrawal for? 

Petitioner-Today we are only on the framing of charge. 

Chief Justice-We cannot decide anything on merit. 

Justice Prateek Jalan-Let the process be completed. 

Petitioner-Today I am not being promoted.

Delhi HC Chief Justice DN Patel-Those who are suffering such kind of proceedings may not be promoted.

Justice Prateek Jalan-You can raise these issues before the trial court for expeditious trial. Withdraw your petition. 

Chief Justice-If you want order, we can pass it. We will narrate who are you in the order. You are not an angel. You will lose. 

Chief Justice DN Patel asks suppose Rs 5 lakh cash is found in the pocket or from you, the burden of proof is on the accused. 

Petitioner-I am grateful your lordship not deciding the trial matter. 

Delhi HC disposed of the matter stating petitioner not pressing challenge to the orders passed by the Special CBI Judge. Let a liberty to challenge the order passed by Special Judge before a appropriate forum, in accordance with law before appropriate forum. We are keeping issue of challenging the Section 7 PC Act open. Petition Withdrawn. 

In January 2019, the Sports Authority of India had suspended four of its officials pending inquiry, who were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation under corruption charges. 

What is Section 7 in The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988? 

Section 7 states – Public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act.—Whoever, being, or expecting to be a public servant, accepts or obtains or agrees to accept or attempts to obtain from any person, for himself or for any other person, any gratification whatever, other than legal remuneration, as a motive or reward for doing or forbearing to do any official act or for showing or forbearing to show, in the exercise of his official functions, favour or disfavour to any person or for rendering or attempting to render any service or disservice to any person, with the Central Government or any State Government or Parliament or the Legislature of any State or with any local authority, corporation or Government company referred to in clause (c) of section 2, or with any public servant, whether named or otherwise, shall be punishable with imprisonment which shall be not less than six months but which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation (A) “Expecting to be a public servant”. If a person not expecting to be in office obtains a gratification by deceiving others into a belief that he is about to be in office, and that he will then serve them, he may be guilty of cheating, but he is not guilty of the offence defined in this section.

(B) “Gratification”. The word “gratification” is not restricted to pecuniary gratifications or to gratifications estimable in money.

(C) “Legal remuneration”. The words “legal remuneration” are not restricted to remuneration which a public servant can lawfully demand, but include all remuneration which he is permitted by the Government or the organisation, which he serves, to accept.

(D) “A motive or reward for doing”. A person who receives a gratification as a motive or reward for doing what he does not intend or is not in a position to do, or has not done, comes within this expression.

(E) Where a public servant induces a person erroneously to believe that his influence with the Government has obtained a title for that person and thus induces that person to give the public servant, money or any other gratification as a reward for this service, the public servant has committed an offence under this section.

Read Also: Arnab Goswami goes all out, submits undeniable evidence of prejudgement, politically-scripted action of Minister Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh in Anvay Naik Case

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