Court of Law

SRINAGAR — Court of Special Judge Anti-Corruption Anantnag today sentenced a Patwari to imprisonment of 18 months in a corruption case.

The statement issued to the news agency KNS reads that the Court of Special Judge Anti-Corruption Anantnag convicted Abdul Aziz Wagay son of Gh Ahmad Wagay, resident of Akran Nowpora Kulgam, the then Patwari Kreeri Shangus Anantnag in case FIR No. 02/2009 U/S 5(2) PC Act, 161 RPC of P/S VOK (now ACB) and sentenced him to undergo simple imprisonment for a period of 18 months under section 5(2) of J&K Prevention of Corruption Act and one year under section 161 RPC and a fine of Rs 10,000 U/S 5(2) PC Act and Rs 5000 U/S 161 RPC.

The judgment was delivered by the Hon’ble Special Judge Anti-corruption Anantnag, Javaid Aalam on October 19, 2022.

The facts of the case are that on 31-01-2009, Mohammad Rafiq Teli son of Abdul Gani Teli resident of Cheripora, Shangus in Anantnag approached the Senior Superintendent of Police Vigilance Organization, Kashmir (now ACB) with a written complaint alleging therein that he approached Patwari Halqa Kreei Shangus Abdul Aziz Wagay for obtaining Revenue extract (Fard Intikahab) of the land mutated in his favour and his brother after the death of his father, the statement reads.

“The concerned Patwari demanded Rs 1000 as a bribe for issuing Revenue extract (Fard Intikhab) which was finally settled at Rs 500. On receipt of the above complaint, a case was registered at Police Station Vigilance Organization, Kashmir and an investigation was taken up,” it added.

During the course of the investigation, a trap team was constituted and a successful trap was laid and accused was arrested while demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 500 for issuance of Revenue extract on 31-01-2009.

After the completion of the investigation, the charge sheet of the case was filed before the competent court. The trial court, after examining the prosecution witnesses and after hearing the Special Public Prosecutor and Defence Counsel, convicted the accused on 19-10-2022. The prosecution of the case was conducted by Special Public Prosecutor Aijaz Ahmad Parvaiz, (Senior Prosecuting officer) of the Anti-Corruption Bureau.

The court while discussing the rival arguments and evidence observed, “The crux of the aforestated discussion and the entire evidence brought on record as well as the legal position noticed herein above, I am of the considered opinion that the prosecution successfully has been able to prove the charge beyond any reasonable doubt against the accused and it has been proved that the accused has misused his official position to gain the pecuniary benefit and thus committed the offence of criminal misconduct under section 5 (1) (d) r/w section 5(2) of J&K P C Act and under section 161 RPC. The prosecution has successfully proved that the trap was genuinely laid on the basis of a written complaint lodged by complainant PW-01 who was extorted by the accused to pay the bribe.”

“The PW-01 has no enmity against the accused and his evidence clearly shows that accused had demanded and accepted the bribe money for issuance of Revenue extract. From the circumstances pointed out above legitimately, a presumption can be drawn that the accused had accepted the bribe money of his own which is sufficient to give rise to the presumption under section 4 of the PC Act that the accused accepted the same as illegal gratification particularly so when the defence has failed to rebut the presumption, therefore, it stands proved beyond reasonable doubts that the accused has misused his official position by accepting the illegal gratification for himself,” the court said.

The court also observed that corruption has spread everywhere and is eating the vitals of society and posing a grave threat to the economy of the country. “The crime committed by the accused is therefore serious and so the sentence has to be proportionate to the gravity of the crime committed. The courts have to adhere to the principles of law governing the award of the sentence, the legislative intent behind the PC Act and also the impact of awarding the sentence, a balance has to be struck between aggravating and mitigating circumstances before awarding the punishment to an accused.”

The court while concluding the judgement observed, “In view of the aforesaid discussion, the net result is that the prosecution has succeeded in proving charges under section 5 (1) r/w section 5(2) of J&K PC Act and under section 161 RPC against the accused Aziz Wagay S/O Gh Ahmad Wagay R/O Akhran Nowpora Kulgam and accordingly, I convict the accused U/S 5 (2)of J&K PC Act and 161 RPC.

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