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JUSTICE SANJAY KAROL and JUSTICE PRASANNA BHALACHANDRA VARALE granted leave against the judgment of High Court of  Karnataka. The High Court quashed FIR No. 63/2021 dated 8.12.2021 under Section 7(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, pending before the 23rd Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge, Bengaluru, under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. Both parties’ counsels were heard, and their written submissions were reviewed.

Respondent No.1, Jairaj, was cleared in departmental proceedings related to a bribery complaint, leading to the quashing of FIR No. 63/2021 by the High Court of Karnataka. The appellant’s marriage took place on 21.7.2006, during which his wife accused him of sexually harassing their minor child, resulting in FIR No.555/2018. Respondent No.2, investigating the case, demanded and accepted bribes from the appellant. The appellant reported this to the Karnataka Human Rights Commission, leading to the registration of FIR No.63/2021 under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Sanction for prosecuting Respondent No.1 was also granted based on preliminary investigation findings.

The FIR was categorical that ASI Sivakumar (Accused No.2) had received money and that Police Inspector Jairaj had assured that they would provide chargesheet in lieu of Rs.80,000/- and that the complainant would also have to payRs.500 per week when he visits the police station, as a condition of bail .So, the High Court concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence to proceed against the accused, particularly noting the absence of direct evidence of bribery. Additionally, it seems the complaint against the accused was seen as potentially retaliatory, filed to counter a complaint against someone else.The High Court’s decision to quash the FIR, filed by only one of the accused, is legally unsustainable. It overlooked evidence like the pendrive allegedly indicating the involvement of the accused, Jairaj, despite the FIR stating that both accused were involved in bribery.

The plea by the Lokayukta before the High Court, highlighting that the trial didn’t rely on the same evidence used to exonerate the accused in departmental proceedings, seems to have been overlooked. Consequently, the appeal is allowed, and the judgment of the High Court quashing the FIR is set aside.As a result, the FIR under consideration in this case is reinstated and will proceed through the legal process to its conclusion. It’s important to note that all issues regarding facts, law, and any other arguments raised remain open for the parties to address before the appropriate forum at the suitable stage, should they choose to do so.

Case Title : SANJU RAJAN NAYAR VS JAYARAJ & ANR, SLP(Crl.)No.8254/2023

Written by: Ayesha Hussain, College name : Surendranath Law College, 4th year B.A.LL.B(HONS) ,Intern under Legal Vidhiya

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