STATE TIMES NEWSJAMMU: Justice Sanjeev Kumar of State High Court on Wednesday dismissed the appeal filed by State Vigilance Organisation against the acquittal of Charan Dass, Superintendent of Examination, Prem Kumar, Deputy Superintendent and Parshotam Sharma Supervisor, and upheld the acquittal. As per the prosecution story, complainant Sandip Kumar Gupta lodged a written complaint with the Vigilance Organization, Jammu with the allegation that he was appearing in the Biannual examination of 10+2 which was being conducted in the examination hall situated in Luthra Public School, Talab Tillo, Jammu. It was alleged that one Charan Dass, Superintendent of examination in connivance with Prem Kumar, Deputy Superintendent, Examination and Supervisor Parshotam Sharma were demanding money from the candidates appearing in the examination so as to allow them for copying in the examination. He alleged that during his first paper in the month of September 2001, the respondent-accused Parshotam Sharma demanded Rs. 16,000 from him for permitting him to copy in the examination hall, but, later on, the deal was settled for Rs.9000. He alleged that he paid and the respondent-accused Parshotam Sharma accepted Rs.4500 for facilitating copying in the second paper. He further claimed that he appeared in the examination and after two/three papers, the respondent-accused asked him to pay him the balance amount. It is alleged that the complainant, who was supposed to appear in the physics (B) paper on January 8, 2001, carried Rs. 4500 for paying it to the respondent Parshotam Sharma. However, he was persuaded by his neighbourer Suresh Kohli, to approach Vigilance Organisation Jammu and lodge a complaint in this regard. He, accordingly, lodged a complaint and a trap was laid in which the respondents were allegedly caught red handed demanding and accepting bribe of Rs.4500. The Vigilance Organization Jammu, after completion of investigation, presented the Challan before the Trial Court. Justice Kumar observed that the view taken by the Trial Court based on available evidence is unexceptionable and even if, upon evaluation of evidence led by the prosecution, it is possible to take a view different from the one taken by the Trial Court, the same would not be permissible for this Court to do so. “In this regard, law is well settled that while hearing an acquittal appeal, if the appellate Court comes to the conclusion that on the basis of evidence on record, two views are possible, in that event, the view that favours the accused has to be taken. The Trial Court has correctly returned a finding that there was no demand ever made by any of the respondents-accused and this is substantiated by the statement of complainant and other witnesses. The Trial Court has rightly doubted the statement of shadow witness namely Constable Mohd Riaz on the ground that in the presence of availability of independent witnesses accompanying the trap party, the interested witness should not have been put up as a shadow witness. It is this witness only who deposed with regard to demand of bribe made by the respondents-accused. That apart, it is not only the demand, but the acceptance by the respondents and also the recovery from the possession of the accused is required to be proved to constitute the offences under Sections 5(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act read with 161 RPC”, the court observed. With these observations, High Court observed that the judgment passed by the Trial Court is legally and factually correct and does not call for any interference in this appeal filed by the appellant.
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