Lalita Kumari IV

A ‘public servant’ is said to commit ‘criminal misconduct’ if he is in ‘possession’ of pecuniary resources disproportionate to his ‘known sources of income’ for which the ‘public servant’ cannot ‘satisfactorily account’.  

Explanation to Section 13(1)(e) of The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 defines ‘known sources of income’ to mean, income received from any legal/lawful source known to prosecution.

The undeclared alleged sources are expected to be known to accused only and are within his special knowledge. CBI v. T.H. Vijayalakshmi, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 923 held, an accused ‘public servant’ does not have a right to be afforded a chance to explain alleged disproportionate assets, before filing of a Charge Sheet/FIR, by making a preliminary inquiry mandatory.

Hon’ble Justice J.B. Pardiwala, State v. R Soundirarasu, [Criminal Appeal Nos. 1452-1453 of 2022].