HC sets aside conviction of Patwari in trap case

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, June 29: High Court has set-aside the conviction of Patwari Mangat Ram ordered by Special Judge Anticorruption Jammu in a trap case.
The significant judgment has been passed in an appeal filed by Mangat Ram against the judgment and order dated 18-12-2015 rendered by the court of Special Judge Anti-Corruption Jammu in challan titled State through Police Station Vigilance Organization Jammu V/S Mangat Ram Sharma, whereby, appellant has been tried, held guilty, convicted and sentenced to undergo one year imprisonment for commission of offence under Section 161 RPC and one (year imprisonment for commission of offence under Section 5(1) (d) read with Section 5(2) PC Act.
After hearing Senior Advocates Abhinav Sharma and Rahul Pant for the appellant, Justice Mohan Lal observed, “corruption in a civilized society is a disease like cancer, which, if not detected in time, is sure to led to the disastrous consequences. Corruption is termed as a plague. It is also termed as a royal thievery and the socio-political system exposed to such a communicable disease is likely to crumble in its own weight”.
“The evil of corruption has persistently crept into various levels despite the stringent history of the Act since 1947 and this hydra-headed dragon of corruption has to be lynched at the earliest or it is likely to cause turbulence shaking the socio-economic fabric. But at the same time, equally important is that an individual, who is booked in Corruption Act case, should not be punished without testing his case on the touchstone of judicial scrutiny, as it is not only the accused who goes to jail with the stigma of being a corrupt official, it has its far reaching effect on the entire family”, the court said.
“The person does not only lose his livelihood but earns ignominy also. Therefore, the court is expected to be very careful and circumspect keeping in view that a corrupt does not go scott-free and the innocent is not taken to task at the whims of someone. These cases are to be judged on a very sensitive platform of judicial scrutiny”, the court further said.
“Prosecution has miserably failed to prove the guilt of the appellant/convict beyond reasonable doubt for commission of offences. The criminal conviction appeal, therefore, is allowed. Resultantly, the impugned judgment of conviction and order of sentence dated 18-12-2015 rendered by the court of Special Judge Anti-Corruption Jammu based on surmises, assumptions and presumptions is unsustainable in the eyes of law and the same is set aside/quashed”, High Court said.
Appellant/convict Mangat Ram Sharma, son of Swami Dass of Akhnoor, who is presently on bail, was acquitted of the charges leveled against him.