The Karnataka High Court on Friday set aside the conviction of a police inspector who was accused of destroying evidence in a corruption case while serving at Kuvempunagar police station in Mysore.
Justice Anand Byrareddy passed the order while allowing an appeal by M. Manjunath, who was convicted by the Special Lokayukta Court, Mysore in 2010. The Special Court dropped proceedings against him as the government did not grant sanction for his prosecution for accepting a bribe in connection with a financial dispute in 2005. However, the court found him guilty of destroying the currency notes he allegedly accepted as bribe after he was trapped by the Lokayukta sleuths. The High Court said the conclusion arrived at by the Special Court was inexplicable as the officer, who was a gazetted public servant, could not have been prosecuted even under Section 201 of the Indian Penal Code in the absence of sanction for his prosecution.
Justice Mr. Byrareddy dismissed an appeal filed by the Lokayukta police questioning the acquittal of Maulasab Bukitgar, a revenue inspector with the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike.
The Lokayukta Special Court, Bangalore, in March 2010 acquitted him from the charge of accepting Rs. 3,000 as bribe in 2006 for transfer of khata of a property.
The court said there was inconsistency in the evidence and the statement given by a key witness. Also, the police failed to establish that the money paid to the official was a bribe as Mr. Bukitgar claimed that it was meant for payment of stamp duty.