Illegal Gratification II

Hakeem Khan v. State of Madhya Pradesh, (2017) 5 SCC 719 considered powers of Appellate Court for interference in cases where acquittal is recorded by Trial Court. It was held, so long as the view of Trial Court can be reasonably formed, regardless of whether High Court agrees with the same or not, verdict of Trial Court cannot be interdicted and High Court cannot supplant over the view of Trial Court.

Trial Court acquitted. The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court reversed the acquittal and convicted for offences under Section 7, 13(2) and 13(1)(d) of The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The absence of proof of demand for illegal gratification and mere possession or recovery of currency notes is not sufficient to constitute such offence. The initial presumption of innocence in criminal jurisprudence gets doubled by an acquittal recorded by Trial Court. In view of the material contradictions, the benefit of doubt has to go to N. Vijayakumar.

Hon’ble Justice R. Subhash Reddy, N. Vijayakumar v. State of Tamil Nadu, [Criminal Appeal Nos. 100-101 of 2021].