New Delhi: Making a false corruption charge against a public servant proved costly for a man with a Delhi court ordering initiation of legal proceedings against him observing that statements made under oath before it shall be on a "higher pedestal".
Special judge Narottam Kaushal directed initiation of proceedings against Inder Mohan Verma, who had alleged in his
complaint that a Delhi Jal Board (DJB) official was seeking a bribe of Rs 600 from him for alloting him water connection.
"Either his (Verma) complaint was false or his testimony before the court on oath is false. Statement made under oath before the court shall have to be put on higher pedestal than the signed complaint," the judge said. "I am thus of the opinion that he has made a false charge against the accused, who is a public servant of having committed the offence punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act," the judge said noting that Verma had made a false statement before the court.
The court also acquitted DJB official Shiv Kumar against whom Verma had lodged the complaint saying that the complainant has denied that there was demand of bribe and even denied that the complaint was written by him voluntarily.
"For the reasons discussed, I am of the opinion that prosecution has failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that
accused Shiv Kumar demanded and accepted bribe from the complainant," the court said.
It said onus is on the prosecution to establish beyond reasonable doubt that there was demand and acceptance of bribe
amount by the accused only thereafter the presumption that it was illegal gratification can be drawn.
"Accused is entitled to benefit of doubt and is accordingly acquitted," the court said. According to prosecution, Verma had on October 3, 2011, lodged the complaint before the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Delhi Police alleging that Kumar, who was working in the office of zonal engineer of DJB, demanded money from him for giving the water connection.
On his complaint, a trap team was constituted and Kumar was caught while demanding and accepting bribe, it had
alleged. During the trial, Kumar had claimed that he was falsely implicated in the case.