2008 bribe case | Court sentences ASI to a year's jail term

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Srinagar: A court here sentenced an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) of Police to a simple imprisonment of one year in connection with a case which was registered against him in Police station Vigilance organization of Kashmir (VOK) in 2008, now Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB).

The Court of Special Judge Anti-Corruption Kashmir, C L Bavoria awarded a one year simple imprisonment to Mushtaq Ahmad, who was posted as ASI in police station charar-e- Sharief in 2008, after hearing Special PP Ghulam Jeelani and the accused through his counsel.

“…… the net result is that the prosecution has succeeded in proving charges u/s 5(2) of J&K P. C. Act and u/s 161 RPC against the accused and accordingly I convict the accused of the charge and keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case accused namely Mushtaq Ahmad Shah is sentenced to undergo simple imprisonment of one year and a fine of Rs. 10,000 under each offence”, said the order by Judge Bavoria.

In case of default in payment of fine, the court said, the accused shall undergo further imprisonment for one month under each offence. “The period of detention already undergone by the accused shall be set off against the sentence so imposed on him. The sentence to run concurrently,” it added.

Cancelling his bail bonds, the court ordered that “ the accused convict shall be taken into custody and be sent to District Jail Srinagar for serving the sentence”.

As per prosecution case, one Abdul Rashid Chopan of Fresdub Charar-i-Sharief Budgam as complainant lodged a written complaint in P.S.VOK to the effect that he along with one Manzoor Ahmad Chopan purchased three quintals of rice from a Government Ration Depot Nagam Charar-e-Sharief and transported the same in a Sumo proceeding towards their home.

On their way they were intercepted at Charar-i-Sharief Bazar by ASI Mushtaq Ahmad of police station Charar-e-sharief, who took them along with rice to Nowhar and demanded and accepted Rs 500 from the complainant and Manzoor Ahmad Chopan and released only two quintals of rice out of three quintals. Thereafter, the accused handed over one quintal of rice to a shopkeeper and demanded further Rs 1000 as bribe from the complainant. It was further alleged by Chopan that the ASI on persuasion agreed to accept only Rs 500 as bribe which was settled to be paid on September 19, 2008.

After registration of the case, investigation followed which revealed that the accused had demanded Rs 500 as illegal gratification other than legal remuneration as a motive from the complainant for releasing one quintal of rice, which he had illegally seized from the complainant.

While convicting the accused the court held that the prosecution had been able successfully to prove that the trap was genuinely laid on the basis of a written complaint lodged by complainant, who was extorted by the accused to pay the bribe.

The complainant, the court said, had no enmity against accused and his evidence clearly shows that accused had demanded and accepted the bribe money to release him the retained rice which is supported by rest of the evidence.

The court observed that from the circumstances pointed out legitimately a presumption could be drawn that the accused had accepted the bribe money of his own which was sufficient to give rise to presumption u/s 4 of the P. C. Act that the accused accepted the same as illegal gratification particularly so when the defence theory put forth was not acceptable.

“Therefore it stands proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused has misused his official position by accepting the illegal gratification for him,” court said.

The court underscored that in the present case the prosecution had been able to prove the demand and acceptance of the bribe money, as well as the recovery of the tainted money of Rs.500 from the accused after the receipt of the same from the complainant.

“No any explanation has been given by the accused nor he has been able to bring any cogent or satisfactory evidence to establish that as to how the currency notes has come in his possession that were recovered from him and the numbers of those notes tailed and found bribe money,” it said.

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