Puneet Sabharwal vs CBI 2024 INSC 221 – S 227 CrPC – Discharge – Probative Value Of Orders Of Income Tax Authorities In Corruption Case

Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 228- Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 -Income Tax Act, 1961 -In this case, the accused against whom charges were framed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, seek to rely upon findings recorded by authorities under the Income Tax Act- SC held: The scope of adjudication in both the proceedings are markedly different and therefore the findings in the latter cannot be a ground for discharge of the Accused Persons in the former. The proceedings under the Income Tax Act and its evidentiary value remains a matter of trial and they cannot be considered as conclusive proof for discharge of an accused – The probative value of the Orders of the Income Tax Authorities, including the Order of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal and the subsequent Assessment Orders, are not conclusive proof which can be relied upon for discharge of the accused persons. These orders, their findings, and their probative value, are a matter for a full-fledged trial.

Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 228– A strong suspicion founded on material on record which is ground for presuming the existence of factual ingredients of an offence would justify the framing of charge against an accused person [Referred to Onkar Nath Mishra & Ors. v. State (NCT of Delhi) & Anr. (2008) 2 SCC 45 561 Paragraph 11]. The Court is only required to consider judicially whether the material warrants the framing of charge without blindly accepting the decision of the prosecution [Referred to State of Karnataka v. L. Muniswamy & Ors. (1977) 2 SCC 699 Paragraph 10]

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