Jharkhand High Court: Anubha Rawat Choudhary, J., dismissed the criminal petition seeking exoneration from criminal proceedings.
In the present case, the petitioner was caught red-handed with bribe money. The petitioner herein seeks to quash all the criminal proceedings in connection with Vigilance Case No. 39/2017 arising out of A.C.B. P.S. Case No. 06/2016 lodged under Section 7/13(2) read with Section 13 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The advocate representing the petitioner, Mahesh Tewari, submitted that the petitioner has already been exonerated in the departmental proceedings on the same set of allegations. The advocate also relied on judgments passed by the Supreme Court and submitted that considering the aforesaid judgments, the entire criminal proceeding against the petitioner is fit to be set aside.
The advocate for the State, T. N. Verma contended that the petitioner was caught red-handed with bribe money of Rs 4,500 and the present criminal case arises out of a trap case. The advocate further contended that the allegation in contention in with the departmental proceeding has nothing to do with the trap case and the judgments relied upon by the petitioner, P.S. Rajya v. State of Bihar, (1996) 9 SCC 1 and Lokesh Kumar Jain v. State of Rajasthan, (2013) 11 SCC 130 does not relate to the facts and circumstances of the instant case.
The Court upon perusal of the circumstances and materials placed on record stated that the allegation levelled against the petitioner in the criminal proceeding has nothing to do with any departmental proceedings and also the allegation regarding the trap case has nothing to do with the departmental proceedings.
The Court also stated that the judgments relied upon by the petitioner will not be applicable to the present case since in P.S. Rajya v. State of Bihar, (1996) 9 SCC 1 there was no dispute that the allegation which was there in the departmental proceeding was identical with that of the criminal case and in Lokesh Kumar Jain v. State of Rajasthan, (2013) 11 SCC 130 the petitioner was exonerated in the departmental proceeding and in the criminal case, the records were not available due to which the investigation was delayed and there was no likelihood of tracing out the records and considering the totality of the facts and circumstances of the case, the Supreme Court had quashed the criminal proceeding against the accused of the said case. [Lal Babu v. State of Jharkhand, 2020 SCC OnLine Jhar 195, decided on 17-02-2020]