(Prayer: Appeal filed under Section 374(2) of Cr.P.C, r/w Section 27 of the P.C.Act, to call for the entire records in connection with the C.C.No.15 of 2013 on the file of the XII Additional Special Judge for CBI cases at Chennai and set aside the conviction and sentence imposed by the XII Additional Special Judge for CBI cases at Chennai dated 11.04.2014 in C.C.No.15 of 2013.)
1. The convicted sole accused is the appellant herein.
2. This Criminal Appeal is filed against the judgment and sentence passed by the XII Additional Special Judge, for CBI cases at Chennai in C.C.No.15 of 2013 on 25.04.2006 convicted the appellant for the offences under Section 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act and sentenced him to undergo R.I for one year and to pay a fine of Rs.5,000/- in default to pay the fine amount to undergo S.I for 3 months and for the offences under Section 13(1)(d) read with 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 the appellant was convicted and sentenced to undergo to R.I for one year and imposed a fine of Rs.5,000/- in default to undergo S.I for 3 months. the said sentences are directed to run concurrently. The appellant has paid the fine amount of Rs.10,000/- on 11.04.2014.
3. The case of the prosecution in brief is that:-
The accused being the Branch Manager, Punjab National Bank, Tirupathur Branch, Tirupathur, a public servant, on 05.03.2003 at Tirupathur accepted or obtained from Nanvit B.Dodia a sum of Rs.10,000/- for himself being an illegal gratification other than legal remuneration as motive or reward for doing an official act namely sanction of term loan of Rs.20,00,000/- and by corrupt or illegal means accused demanded on 2.3.2013 a sum of Rs.10,000/- as advance out of the total amount of Rs.80,000/- being an illegal gratification and again on 5.3.2013 obtained as pecuniary advantage for himself an amount of Rs.10,000/- being an illegal gratification other than legal remuneration for sanctioning the term loan of Rs.20,00,000/- and hence charges have been framed against him for the offences under Sections 7 and 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of P.C.Act, 1988.
4. During the trial, P.W.1 to P.W.15 were examined and Exs.P1 to P66 marked; M.O.1 series M.O.1 to M.O.5 were marked.
5. After trial, the Special Court (CBI) has held that the charges are proved beyond reasonable doubt and accordingly, laid the conviction and sentence as stated supra.
6. The learned counsel for the appellant contended that the prosecution has not proved the loan amount required by the P.W.3/defacto-complainant and relied upon Ex.P1, Ex.P10, Ex.P14, Ex.P17, Ex.P32, and Ex.P33 and also drawn my attention to the material contradiction between the evidence of P.W.3 with one of the trap witness Jayaprakash.
7 (a). The learned Special Public Prosecutor (CBI Cases) in reply to the submissions made by the learned counsel for the appellant, draw my attention to the evidence of P.W.6, P.W.8, P.W.9 and P.W.10 and would contend that Ex.P33 is the Entrustment Mahazar. On the pre planned date, the trap cannot be conducted since the accused officer was out of station and hence after following them again, the tainted amount has been tested and re-verified and accordingly, Ex.P35, the second Entrustment Mahazar for the trap day was prepared. P.W.4-accompanying witness [D.Anbalagan] also signed the said Entrustment Mahazar.
(b). The trap was scheduled on 05.03.2013. The accused officer has admitted receipt of the amount and offered an explanation, according to the learned counsel it is upto level of a preponderance of probability.
(c). If the explanation offered by the accused is accepted, the accused has to be given a clean chit. Whether the explanation offered is probable or not, the learned Special Public Prosecutor for CBI cases draw my attention to the evidence of P.W.6-G.Udhayakumar, who was a practising Advocate and Panel Advocate for Punjab National Bank and gave the Report/Legal Opinion-Ex.P29 on 09.03.2012 and in the cross examination, he made a deviation from the chief examination as to the receipt of service charges. The legal opinion/report given by the P.W.6 Advocate under Ex.P29 is dated 09.03.2012 and the trap date is 05.03.2013 and hence the report of the P.W.6 Advocate is one year before the trap and therefore, would contend that the evidence in chief has to be accepted.
(d). Further, relied on oral evidence of P.W.8-Nedumaran, is the Sales Tax & Income Tax Consultant who had filed the e-returns vide Ex.P16 viz., Income Tax returns for the Assessment years 2009- 10, 2010-11 and 2011-12, have deposed that he has collected Rs.1,000/- from Navnit B.Dodia-P.W.2. There was no cross examination with regard to P.W.9-Govindarajan, a registered valuer of the Punjab National Bank. As per the valuation report in respect of the property under Ex.P30, it was issued on 20.03.2012, much before the trap day.
(e). Further, relied upon the version, official Bank witnesses P.W.10 and Exs.P9, 29 and 30 that P.W.10-T.A.N.Vijayaraghavan, Chief Manager, Punjab National Bank would depose that Ex.P9, Ex.P29 and Ex.P30 are the visit report of the Officer of Punjab National Bank- Parthiban, dated 16.02.2013, valuation report dated 20.03.2012 by the Valuer and the legal opinion dated 09.03.2012 by the panel Advocate was considered by him and the amount said to have been paid is only Rs.9,000/- and not Rs.10,000/- as per the demand and would contend that the explanation now offered by the accused officer could not be probable and it has to be rejected and further invited the attention of this Court to the answer elicited in the cross examination of P.W.10-Chief Manager that if the Advocate's fee and the Valuer's fee are borne by the party who applies for the loan and if the amount is not paid by the borrower, the bank shall pay the amount and can recover the same from the party and would contend that the said statement would not be stated to be proper.
8. In reply therefor, Mr.V.Parthiban, learned counsel appearing for the appellant/accused officer would draw my attention to the evidence of P.W.13-P.Thangaraj, Bank Officer from whom it is elicited that the closing balance is too low and therefore, the above said amount only represents the amount to be paid to the Advocate and Valuer for the sales tax consideration. Furthermore, the accused officer is not competent to grant loan over and above Rs.12.50 lakhs and the subject matter of the loan is Rs.20 lakhs and it is the Circle Office, which has to grant the loan.
9. On consideration of the rival submissions made by the respective Advocates and after perusing the documentary evidence, the case of the prosecution that in connection with the sanction of the loan for the P.W.3/Navnit B.Dodia-P.W.2 the accused being a public Officer [Manager of the Punjab National Bank] had demand a sum of Rs.80,000/- as illegal gratification and has demanded Rs.10,000/- in advance on 02.03.2013 and received on 05.03.2013. Being a illegal gratification other than the legal remuneration for sanctioning a term loan of Rs.20,00,000/-.
10. The suggestive case of the defendant as could be seen from the cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses is that the accused bank officer had received the amount for legal remuneration for others namely legal fees to P.W.6-Rs.3,800/-, valuation charge to P.W.9-Rs.4,200/- and to P.W.8 Tax consultant-Rs.1000/- and also submitted that due to enmity between the P.W.3 in connection with Ex.P15, a false case has been foist against him.
11. Prosecution has come forward with definite case that on 2 occasions, the accused had demanded illegal gratification for grant of loan of Rs.20,00,000/-. The Commission expected by him by way of demand at 4% of the loan amount namely Rs.80,000/- as commission and out of the Rs.80,000/- the accused demanded for Rs.10,000/- and to pay the balance of the amount after sanctioning the loan. Initial demand was made on 02.03.2013 in the office of Punjab National Bank wherein the accused has asked the P.W.3 (defacto-complainant) to sign some blank forms and after affixing signature in the application form, the accused has made demand as stated supra. The blank forms filled up by the P.W.3 on 02.03.2013 was marked as Ex.P31.
12. It is the further evidence of P.W.3 that all the documents was submitted by P.W.3 and the accused informed P.W.3 that only if P.W.3 says that he is ready to pay the amount of Rs.10,000/- he could collect the amount as well as the document from the P.W.3 and accused demanded Rs.10,000/- to be paid on 04.03.2013. P.W.3 has specifically deposed that he had discussed the matter with his partner R.N.Anbu and thereafter they informed the P.W.3 that they could lodge a complaint to C.B.I.
13. It is specific evidence of P.W.3/defacto-complainant that on 02.03.2013 at about 4.50 P.M., he called the DIG of CBI over phone and complained about the demand made by Shri.Venkatesan, the accused. DIG informed P.W.3 that he would send one Murugan (P.W.5), Inspector to Tirupathur on 4.3.2013 and asked P.W.3 to give a written complaint to P.W.5. DIG asked P.W.5 to form a team and visit Tirupathur on 4.3.2013 and to get the complaint that will be given by Navnit B.Dodia (P.W.3) on 4.3.2013 and if the complaint lodged by P.W.3 was found to be genuine, then to lay a trap.
14. P.W.3 the defacto-complainant set the criminal law into motion by lodging Ex.P32 complaint with P.W.5 at Tirupathur wherein he has specifically stated that he has sought for term loan in his name for Rs.20,00,000/- and Rs.5 lakhs O.D credit and the loan application is filed on 20.12.2011 and thereafter Valuation Report was obtained from the Govindarajan/P.W.9 and also legal opinion was obtained from Udayakumar/P.W.6 and also enclosed the income tax papers and CIBIL report and no dues from Vijaya Bank marked as Ex.P16 and also stated about the demand made on 2.3.2013. In consultation with his partner, he has lodged Ex.P3 complaint. In the said complaint his partner R.N.Anbu also made an endorsement, assumes significance. On registration of Ex.P33 complaint the P.W.5 has registered Ex.P.46/F.I.R.
15. Accordingly, the team consisting of P.W.5, Subbaiyan, K.Raja all are inspectors along with two constables was formed. On 4.3.2013, at about 7.00 hours, P.W.5 along with team members proceeded to Tirupathur in a Government vehicle with trap kit. The trap kit consisted of sodium carbonate powder, phenolphthalein powder, glass tumblers, glass bottles, seal, wax, candle etc., At about 12.30 hours, P.W.5 along with team members reached Tirupathur bus stand. Then P.W.5 contacted P.W.3 over his mobile phone for which P.W.3 asked P.W.5 to come to his hotel which was under renovation at 52, Palanisamy Mudaliar Road, opposite to Tirupathur Bus stand. P.W.5 met P.W.3 and introduced himself and other team members. At that time R.Anbu was also there along with P.W.3. At about 13.30 hours on the same day, P.W.3 gave the written complaint Ex.P32 which was endorsed by R.Anbu also. P.W.5 also endorsed on the second page of Ex.P32 for receiving the complaint. The complaint was forwarded through fax to the DIG on the same day at about 14.00 hours. DIG instructed P.W.5 to verify the complaint and to send a verification report. Accordingly P.W.5 verified the character and antecedent of the accused through his sources and came to know that accused is not 'good' and he is a corrupt officer. Then P.W.5 prepared the verification report Ex.P45. Ex.P45 was also forwarded to DIG through fax on the same day at 14.50 hours. DIG instructed P.W.-5 to lay a trap on the accused as per law.
16. The team so formed on the advise of D.I.G of C.B.I has left for Tirupathur on 04.03.2013 at 7.00 hours and they travelled in a Government vehicle with a trap kit and P.W.5 (T.L.O) had conducted the P.W.3 over the phone and arranged the trap proceedings. P.W.3/ defacto-complainant had given the complaint Ex.P32 which was endorsed by his partner Anbu and the same is also received by P.W.5 in Ex.P32 and forwarded the facts to D.I.G around 14.00 hours. After verification, P.W.5 came to know the accused is not good and he is a correct officer and prepared Ex.45 verification report and forwarded the same to the D.I.G (C.B.I) on the same day and as per the instruction of D.I.G, P.W.15 (T.L.O) had prepared for a trap of the accused as required under the law.
17. Around 3.45 p.m., the head office of D.I.G was informed over phone about the registration of the complaint Ex.P16 F.I.R came into being. The Inspector of Police-Prabu and two independent witnesses namely P.W.4 Anbalagan and one Jayaprakash from vellore and Tirupathur were asked to be official trap witnesses.
18. After completion of the trap formalities entrustment mahazar was prepared and on the first day, it could not be succeeded and hence for the second day also another entrustment mahazar was prepared on the said day around 8.30 p.m the accused conducted P.W.3 over his phone and conveyed that he will come on 05.03.2013, 9.00 hours and asked to give the demand amount of Rs.10,000/- along with loan document and further told the P.W.3 that if P.W.3 bribe amount the loan could not be sanctioned and therefore the trap treated such as inspector of at Tirupathur necessary documents were prepared and filed before the Court the second entrustment mahazar accused 3&4 during the presence of P.W.3 and P.W.4.
19. He also submitted the xerox copy of the income tax return of himself and his wife Krishna for the assessment years 2009- 2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 (Ex.P16). P.W.6 G.Udhayakumar, Panel Advocate for Punjab National Bank, Tiruapthur, submitted the legal opinion (Ex.29) in respect of the properties given as collateral security on 9.3.2012. P.W.9 V.Govindararjan, Civil Engineering registered valuer of the Punjab National Bank gave the valuation report Ex.P30 for the properties in door No.1-B, 1-C, 1-D, 1-F, 1-G and 1-H, Sivanar street, Tirupathur, belonged to Navnit B.Dodia. He inspected the property on 19.03.2012 and he also perused the sale deed documents Ex.P19 to Ex.P21. P.W.2 N.Parthiban an officer, Punjab National Bank, Tirupathur Branch, visited the Athithya Hotel premises on 15.02.2013 at 6.00 P.M along with P.W.3 and he submitted the visit report (Ex.P9) dated 16.02.2013 to the accused. The loan proposal register maintained in the bank is Ex.5.
20. On the back side of sheet No.4 in Ex.P5 the endorsement made by the DGM of the circle office (Ex.P6) is available in red ink on 26.12.2012 and the endorsement reads as follows:- "Loan application register is not being maintained. Officer and Manager must ensure proper monitoring absence of register update pending and rejection is not ascertainable". The unsigned and typed letter dated 1.12.2012 available in the bank file and addressed to the Manager, Tirupathur Branch is Ex.P7, in which there is writing in red ink as follows:- "For the amount spent. I am enclosing cash bills herewith". This portion is written by the Manager, Venkatesan (accused).
21. On the point of grant of sanction, the learned counsel for the appellant contended that the sanction officer is biased. The investigation officer had examined the P.W.1 in respect of Ex.P4 on 1.4.2013 and sanction order was passed by him on 25.4.2013 much later to the examination and also stated that the sanction officer has not applied his mind before granting Ex.P1 sanction order. In this regard, I find that on consideration of the answer elicited in the crossexamination of P.W.1, the trial Court has rendered a finding that Ex.P1 to Ex.P3 and the evidence of P.W.1 discloses that P.W.1 is the Disciplinary Authority for the accused and after applying his mind on the documents supplied by the investigation officer, Ex.P2 sanction was accorded. P.W.1 was cross examined to the effect that he has not mentioned about the examination of CBI on 12.04.2013. P.W.1 was examined by the Investigation Officer with regard to Ex.P4 alone, in which this P.W.1 as General Manager has informed about the non availability of the letter dated 20.12.2009 submitted by P.W.3 copy of Financial statement and the CIBIL report in the names of P.W.3 and his wife Krishna and A.Dinesh Kumar. While granting sanction, these things need not be mentioned in the sanction order. In the 161 statement of P.W.1 (L.W.1) has not stated anything about this accused.
22. From the above discussion, it is clear that P.W.1 is not biased, he has applied his mind before according sanction. Hence the sanction order EX.P2 is valid in law and on re-appreciation of the evidence of P.W.1, I find that the Investigation Officer has enquired with P.W.1 sanction officer regarding the missing of letter dated 20.12.2011 submitted by P.W.3 defacto-complainant namely the copy of the financial statement and the CIBIL report in the name of P.W.3, his wife Krishna and A.Dinesh Kumar. While granting sanction, these things need not be mentioned in the sanction order. In the 161 statement of P.W.1(L.W.1), has not stated anything about this accused. Therefore, the investigation officer has checked about the missing document in the office of the concerned bank at the time of the inspection and it has nothing to do with the sanction order or the sanction process and hence P.W.1 cannot be termed as biased and he has applied his mind before according the sanction and hence the finding rendered by the trial Court with regard to validity of the sanction does not suffer from any illegality or irregularity warranting interference at this appellate stage.
23. Demand, acceptance and recovery:-
On 02.03.2013 P.W.3 went to Punjab National Bank at about 12.30 p.m and met the accused, requested him again for sanctioning of loan, for which accused asked P.W.3 to sign in some blank forms and after P.W.3 affixed signature in the application forms accused told P.W.3 that the loan is for Rs.20,00,000/- and P.W.3 has to pay 4% of loan amount i.e., Rs.80,000/- as commission to him. Out of Rs.80,000/- accused asked for Rs.10,000/- immediately and informed to pay the balance amount after sanctioning of the loan. The blank loan forms signed by P.W.3 is Ex.P31.
24. Regarding demand P.W.3 would specifically depose that till February 2013 there was no progress and on 15.02.2013 accused sent the field officer P.W.2 to inspect the Athithya Hotel premises. on 02.03.2013 the P.W.3 defacto-complainant went to the Punjab National Bank in the noon and met an officer and again requested for sanctioning of the loan. After getting the signature of P.W.3 in the blank forms, the accused told him that the loan is for Rs.20,00,000/- and P.W.3 has to pay 4% of loan amount i.e., Rs.80,000/- as commission to him out of which accused asked to pay Rs.10,000/- immediately and informed to pay the balance amount after sanctioning of the loan. The accused also told P.W.3 that P.W.3 has to pay the amount of Rs.10,000/- on 4.3.2013. Regarding this, P.W.3 discussed with his partner R.N.Anbu and Anbu suggested to lodge a complaint to the C.B.I.
25. As stated supra, the DIG has deputed the team and the Trap Laying Officer P.W.5 on reaching Tirupathur obtained the E.P32 complaint and registered, made preparation of Entrustment Mahazar Ex.P33 and conducted the trap.
26. After going through the evidence of P.W.3, P.W.4 and P.W.5 there is nothing in the cross-examination to discredit his evidence besides it has come on evidence of P.W.3/defactocomplainant regarding the preparation of Ex.P34 , Ex.P33 Entrustment Mahazar. The evidence of P.W.3 regarding demand on the ultimate day of the trap namely 5.3.2013 is clear and cogent and P.W.3 would state that on demand by the accused he took out the currency notes from his left side shirt pocket with his right hand and handed it over to the accused which he received it with his right hand and he counted the currency notes using the both hands and kept the same in his left side shirt pocket and then Venkatesan told that he would process the loan papers at the earliest. On this aspect P.W.4 would state that Venkatesan received the tainted currency notes with his right hand and counted the same by using both the hands and kept the same in his left side shirt pocket. Then Venkatesan informed P.W.3 that since the amount is paid he would process the loan papers and sanction and release the loan amount as early as possible. So also the evidence of P.W.4 independent witness.
27. P.W.5 Trap Officer has clearly deposed regarding conducting of the trap and Exs.P19 to P32, P24 to P31 and P41 from the possession of the accused and Ex.P66 the report of the Chemical Analysis Report positive and the same is produced before the Court as M.O.1 to M.O.4 and hence on proper appreciation of the evidence, the trial Court has believed the evidence of P.W.3/defacto-complainant, P.W.4 shadow witness P.W.5 T.L.O and coupled with the documentary evidence of Exs.P19 to P22, P24 to P31 and P41 and P36, M.O.1 to M.O.4, have rightly come to the conclusion that the prosecution has demonstrated by oral and documentary evidence that there was a demand, acceptance and recovery from the tainted amount namely Rs.10,000/- from the pocket of the accused and hence has rightly come to the conclusion that the prosecution is entitled for presumption under Section 20(i) of the P.C.Act and the onus of the proof is now shifted to the accused.
28. Defense theory:-
The learned counsel for the appellant in an attempt to probablization of the defence theory would submit that accused received the amount for legal remuneration of others namely P.W.6, P.W.9 and P.W.8 totalling Rs.3800/-+Rs.4200/-+Rs.1000/- =Rs.9000/- what was recovered under the seizure mahazar and produced before the Court as M.O.1 is Rs.10,000/- and not the Rs.9,000/- as projected by the appellant/accused, assumes significance.
29. The accused has filed written statement under Section 313 (v) of Cr.P.C., and his stand is that the amount recovered represents amount for panel Advocate valuer and other charges to the bank.
30. On perusal of the evidence of P.W.6 panel Advocate P.W.8 Tax Consultant P.W.9 Valuation Report they have received the fees though they could not re-collect whether they received or not, assumes significance.
31. Yet another point is that, as pointed out by the learned Special Public Prosecutor (CBI Cases) that the legal opinion given by P.W.6 penal Advocate under Ex.P29 is dated 09.03.2012 whereas the trap date is 05.03.2013 and hence, the report of P.W.6 penal Advocate is one year before the trap. So also P.W.8 Nedumaran Tax Consultant has deposed that he has already collected Rs.1000/- from the P.W.3. The Valuation Report [Ex.P30] issued by P.W.9 was on 20.03.2012 which is much before the trap date and hence, this Court finds that the suggestive case projected by the defense is only after thought besides the amount does not tally with the calculation of the accused projected by the defense namely Rs.9000/- and not Rs.10,000/- as recovered from him and all the witnesses P.W.6, P.W.8, P.W.9 have submitted a report one year earlier of the alleged trap and therefore the contention of the defense counsel stands negatived and cannot be countenanced and consequently, the alleged malice against P.W.3 to wreck vengeance against the accused also cannot be countenanced.
32. The learned defense counsel drew my attention to Ex.P31 that they are blank loan forms. It remains to be stated that P.W.2 Manager who keeps the account of P.W.3 has stated that under Ex.P4 letter issued by P.W.1 to C.B.I they have stated about the non availability of Exs. P15, P16 and P17 with branch and Ex.P5 is the Loan Proposal Received Register in which an endorsement is made by DGIM that the same is not properly maintained as could be seen from Ex.P6 and also Ex.P7 indicates the letter addressed to the Manager, Punjab National Bank and hence, I find that bank staff P.W.2 could depose that the some of the papers required by the C.B.I Authority are not available with the bank so they have issued Ex.P4 letter. Ex.P31 is a loan application said to have been received by the accused at the time of the demand during the trap proceedings and acceptance of the money and therefore, I have no hesitation to reject the contention of the learned counsel for the appellant/accused for the above reason namely that pursuant to the loan application, the loan papers have been sent to penal advocate for legal opinion. P.W.6 and valuation opinion by P.W.9 and the annexed document of the Tax Consultant P.W.8 and the document issued by P.W.8 is said to have been missing as could be seen from the documentary evidence of Ex.P4 and hence, I find that the bank has not produced connected document to make it believe that 'all is not well' and wanted to cover up the story in support of the accused, assumes significance.
33. The next contention of the learned counsel for the defense is that there is a discrepancy with regard to the loan amount in some places namely Ex.P32 complaint it was mentioned as Rs.25 lakhs in some places it is mentioned as Rs.20 lakhs.
34. After perusing the evidence of P.W.3, P.W.4 and P.W.5 and Ex.P32 and
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Ex.P4 and Ex.P7, I find that the term loan is Rs.20,00,000/- and O.D. loan is Rs.5,00,000/- and hence some of the witnesses has spoken about the term loan Rs.20,00,000/- and some of the witnesses have added the O.D loan Rs.5,00,000/- and hence it is with regard to the said fact it cannot be termed as a material contradiction as to the loan amount since it has been duly explained by the prosecution that Rs.20,00,000/- represents term loan and another Rs.5 lakhs represents O.D loan. 35. The other discrepancy pointed out by the appellant/accused is of minor in nature and does not affect the genesis of the case or the prosecution theory and hence, the trial Court has rightly negatived the case of the defense/accused and held that the defense has not proved the probablization of the suggestive case beyond reasonable doubt and accordingly, held that the prosecution has proved the charges beyond reasonable doubt and rightly convicted the accused and in the absence of any positive evidence for the probablization of the suggestive case, the finding given by the Special Judge does not suffer from any irregularity or illegality warranting interference at this appellate stage. Accordingly, the conviction laid by the trial Court for the offence under Sections 7 and 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of P.C. Act, is hereby confirmed. 36. After trial, the learned Special Judge for the prevention of Corruption Act has laid the conviction and sentence as stated supra. 37. On the point of quantum of sentence, the learned counsel for the appellant/accused heard. 38. The appellant convicted is now 74 years old and is having enumerate list of ailment. Fine amount imposed by the trial Court has been already paid. 39. Taking into consideration the advance age of the petitioner and also the list of ailment he is suffering, I am inclined to reduce the sentence awarded under Section 7 of the P.C Act from one year R.I to six months S.I and also reduce the sentence awarded under Section 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) from one year R.I to one year S.I. The fine imposed and the default clause ordered by the trial Court remains unaltered. The period of sentence already undergone by the appellant/accused shall be set off under Section 428 of Cr.P.C. Sentence now imposed are ordered to run concurrently. 40. In this view of the matter, this Criminal Appeal is partlyallowed only to the limited extent, as indicated above. Accordingly, the conviction of the appellant/accused for the offence under Sections 7 and 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of P.C.Act, passed by the learned Special Judge (Special Court for Trial of cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act) Salem in Special Special Case No.22 of 2014 dated 18.11.2016, is hereby confirmed and sentence has been reduced to the extent indicated above.