HC sets aside prosecution of lawyer & assistant in bribery case

The Delhi High Court has quashed a trial court decision for prosecution of a lawyer and his assistant in a 2009 briberycase allegedly involving the then Chairperson of Company Law Board R Vasudevan for getting a favourable order.

The High Court set aside the order of the trial court by which advocate Ankur Chawla and his assistant Vikas Shukla were asked to face trial under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the IPC

They were accused along with Vasudevan and two others.

As per the charge sheet, the two during the period October-November 2009 were involved in giving Vasudevan illegal gratification of Rs 10 lakhs for passing a favourable order in favour of one of the partners in a case relating to a Hindi Daily.

Justice Sunil Gaur said, “Since the audio and video CDs in question are clearly inadmissible in evidence, therefore the trial court has erroneously relied upon them to conclude that a strong suspicion arises regarding petitioners (Chawla and Shukla) criminally conspiring with co-accused to commit the offence in question.”

“Thus, there is no material on the basis of which, it can be reasonably said that there is strong suspicion of the complicity of the petitioners in commission of the offence in question.

“In the considered opinion of this court, a prima facie case is not made out against petitioners and so they cannot be put on trial with the aid of Section 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act or by resort to Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy ) of the IPC,” the High Court said.

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