Monday, November 29, 1999

Mere recovery of money not enough to prove corruption: CAT

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New Delhi, Jun 17 (PTI) The Central Administrative Tribunal has held that mere recovery of money is not enough to prove that a government employee is guilty of corruption. It said that there has to be legally admissible evidence regarding the demand and acceptance of money to hold that the person is corrupt. The Tribunal passed the order on a petition of two policemen who were accused of corruption by the Delhi Police and had approached the bench for relief from major penalty proceedings against them. "If a government servant is punished on suspicion and surmises without any evidence on record to connect him from the alleged misconduct, probability, suspicion and conjectures would not take place as proof to hold one guilty of charges," the Tribunal bench comprising Members N D Dayal and S Raju said. It said there has to be some legally admissible evidence to hold a person guilty of corruption. "Courts would not give premium to a person against whom charges of corruption are proved to the hilt but the condition precedent is that before a government servant is declared corrupt, there has to be some legally admissible evidence and proof to establish it," it said. The policemen-- constables Rajeev Tyagi and Raghu Raj-- had been charged with accepting bribe of Rs 150 from a truck driver. The Tribunal said the policemen were not guilty of taking the bribe as the truck driver had not deposed against them. It held that the report of the inquiry officer was vague, indefinite and inconclusive and cannot be accepted as the statements of the policemen have not been taken into account. The Tribunal said that the inquiry officer on the basis of recovery of money deemed the charge of demand and acceptance which was a finding recorded "perversely" and did not pass the twin test of a common reasonable prudent man. PTI WDA.

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