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Corruption is an offence against society

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New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) The Supreme Court said on Tuesday that offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act are acts against the society, as it set aside a Gujarat High Court judgment acquitting an accused in a corruption case.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and comprising Justices R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah said: “The high court ought to have appreciated that it was dealing with offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, which are against the society. And therefore, the high court ought to have been more careful and ought to have gone into details. We do not approve the manner in which the high court has dealt with the appeal.”

The accused in the case was an assistant director in ITI, Gandhinagar, who was convicted for offences punishable under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The accused was held guilty by a trial court in 2003, which imposed a sentence of five years. The accused challenged this in the high court, which acquitted him in 2015.

The state government moved the top court challenging the high court judgement. Reacting on order acquitting the accused, the top court said the high court’s decision is based on totally erroneous view of law, ignoring the settled legal position.

The top court has remanded the matter back to the high court. The appeal before the high court has been restored to its original file. “The high court to decide and dispose of the appeal in accordance with law and on its own merits, bearing in mind the observations made,” noted the bench.

“Therefore, we are of the firm opinion that the impugned judgment and order passed by the high court acquitting the respondent – accused without adverting to the reasons given by the learned trial court while convicting the accused and without reappreciating the entire evidence on record in detail – cannot be sustained and the same deserves to be quashed and set aside,” the top court said.




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