Gratification means


In C. I. Emden vs. State of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 1960 SC 548. In rejecting that argument this Court observed:

“If the word ‘gratification’ is construed to mean money paid by way of bribe then it would be futile or superfluous to prescribe for the raising of the presumption. Technically it may no doubt be suggested that the object which the statutory presumption serves on this construction is that the Court may then presume that the money was paid by way of a bribe as a motive or reward as required by S. 161 of the Code. In our opinion this could not have been the intention of the Legislature in prescribing the statutory presumption under S. 4 (1).”

This Court proceeded to state:

“It cannot be suggested that the relevant clause in S. 4(1) which deals with the acceptance of any valuable thing should be interpreted to impose upon the prosecution an obligation to prove not only that the valuable thing has been received by the accused but that it has been received by him without consideration or for a consideration which he knows to be inadequate. The plain meaning of this clause undoubtedly requires the presumption to be raised whenever it is shown that the valuable thing has been received by the accused without anything more. If that is the true position in respect of the construction of this part of S. 4 (1) it would be unreasonable to hold that the word ‘gratification’ in the same clause imports the necessity to prove not only the payment of money but the incriminating character of the said payment. It is true that the Legislature might have used the word ‘money’ or ‘consideration’ as has been done by the relevant section of the English statute; ……”

How the burden which has shifted to the accused under S. 4(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act is to be discharged has been considered by this Court in State of Madras v. A. Vaidyanatha Iyer, AIR 1958 SC 61 where it has been observed:

“Therefore, where it is proved that a gratification has been accepted, then the presumption shall at once arise under the section. It introduces an exception to the general rule as to the burden of proof in criminal cases and shifts the onus on to the accused. It may here be mentioned that the legislature has chosen to use the words ‘shall presume’ and not ‘may presume’ , the former a presumption of law and latter of fact. Both these phrases have been defined in the Indian Evidence Act, no doubt for the purpose of that Act, but S. 4 of the Prevention of Corruption Act is in pari material with the Evidence Act because it deals with a branch of law of evidence, i.e., presumptions, and, therefore, should have the same meaning. ‘Shall presume’ has been defined in the Evidence Act as follows:

“Whenever it is directed by this Act that the Court shall presume a fact, it shall regard such fact as proved unless and until it is disproved.”

It is a presumption of law and therefore it is obligatory on the court to raise this presumption in every case brought under S. 4 of the Prevention of Corruption Act because unlike the case of presumption of fact, presumptions of law constitute a branch of jurisprudence.”

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