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State of Maharashtra Versus Kaliar Koil Subramaniam Ramaswamy

1977 (8) TMI 172 - SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

Criminal Appeal No. 6 of 1972 - Dated:- 8-8-1977 - N.L. Untwalia and P.N. Singhal, JJ. For the Appellant: M.N. Phadke and M.N. Shroff, Advs For the Respondents: V.S. Desai, S.B. Wad and (Mrs.) Jayashree Wad JUDGMENT P.N. Singhal, J. 1. Respondent Kaliar Koil Subramaniam Ramaswamy, w .....

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nder investigation, the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947, hereinafter referred to as the Act, was amended by Amending Act No. 40 of 1964, and the following was inserted as Clause (e) in Sub-section (1) of Section 5: (e) if he or any person on his behalf is in possession or has, at any time during the period of his office, been in possession, for which the Public servant cannot satisfactorily account, of pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to his known sources of income. .....

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on, and Sections 161 and 165 of the Penal Code. The Special Judge framed a charge against the accused for the commission of those offences, to which the accused pleaded not guilty. 3. The Special Judge convicted the accused under Section 5(2) of the Act as he held that he had committed offences under Clauses (a),(b),(d) and (e) of Sub-section (1) of Section 5 of the Act and Sections 161 and 165 of the Penal Code, and sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment for .....

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ment of Clause (e) of Sub-section (1) of Section 5 of the Act by the Amending Act of 1964, his prosecution under that clause was "illegal inasmuch as the said Sub-section of Section 5(1) could not be so interpreted as to apply to the possession of the property and resources by the appellant before it was enacted. "The High Court examined the transactions in jaggery and sewing machines also, and held further that it could "not see how the said acts of the .....

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ade a reference to its judgment in Ramanand Pundlik Kamal v. State Criminal Appeal No. 1436 of 1968, decided on 26/27th August, 1971 where, in almost similar circumstances, it had taken the view that the prosecution was not maintainable under that Article. In that view of that matter, the High Court allowed the appeal by its judgment dated October 8, 1971, and acquitted the accused altogether without examining the voluminous evidence which had been led by the prosecution to prove that he was in .....

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ion (1) of Section 5 of the Act and Sections 161 and 165 of the Penal Code, therefore, became final and is not open to challenge before us. 5. We have reproduced Clause (a) of Sub-section (1) of Section 5 of the Act which came into existence on December 18, 1964 by the Amending Act of 1964. It added yet another clause to the four clauses which constituted the offence of criminal misconduct under Sub-section (1) of Section 5. The result of the ins .....

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n or any other person on his behalf is in possession for which the accused person cannot satisfactorily account, of pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to his known sources of Income may be proved, and on such proof the court shall presume, unless the contrary is proved, that the accused person is guilty of criminal misconduct in the discharge of his official duty and his conviction, therefore, shall not be invalid by reason only that it is based solely on such presumption.

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Singh v. State of Punjab MANU/SC/0085/1963 : 1964CriLJ310 it was thought proper to construe Section 5(3) in such a way as not to include possession of pecuniary resources or property acquired before the Act as a new kind of offence of criminal misconduct for otherwise there would have been a breach of the fundamental right. Under Article 20(1) of the Constitution. It war, therefore, held, with reference to the earlier decisions in G S.D Swamy v. The State MANU/SC/0025/1959 : 1960Cr .....

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away with the rule of evidence provided by Sub-section (3) of Section 5 and inserted the new Clause (e) in Sub-section (i) of Section 5 as one more category of the offence of criminal misconduct. But it cannot be gainsaid that the new offence, under the newly inserted Clause (e), became an offence on and from December 18, 1968 by virtue of Section 6 of the Amending Act 40 of 1964. In this view of the matter, the High Court rightly held that "in the ab .....

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an offence, nor be subjected to a penalty greater than that which might have been inflicted under the law in force at the time of the commission of the offence. So when there was no law in force at the time when the accused was found in possession of disproportionate assets by the search which was made on May 17, 1964, under which his possession could be said to constitute an offence, he was entitled to the protection of Clause (1) of Article 20 and it was not permissible for the tria .....

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