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Burden of proof lies on the Prosecution - Landmark Decision for Government Servants

Burden of proof:
The offences by or relating to public servants shall be proved by the prosecution. The burden of proof lies upon the prosecution. It must prove:—
1. That the accused was a public servant;
2. That the accused committed certain wrong under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code or Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988;
3. That his conduct was in the exercise of his public duties as such public servant;
4. That such conduct was against the law;
5. That the accused violated the law intentionally;.
6. That the accused was guilty of disobedience of the State and also to the public;
7. That he caused certain injury to the State or public.
L. Ramjanam Singh vs. State of Bihar (AIR 1956 SC 643)
Brief Facts:
The appellant Ramjanam was a sub-Inspector of Police, working at the Dinapore PS. at the incidence in question. There were three dacoits occurred in that area in the month of June/July, 1951.
On 17-8-1951 the police arrested Sitaram Dusadh, resident of Khagaul, suspecting him that he was one of the participants of dacoities. He was released on bail.
Again he was arrested on 17- 9-1951 for conducting identification parade. He was released on the next day on bail. Sitaram Dusadh complained to the higher police authorities against the appellant/the then Sub-Inspector of Police, alleging that he demanded Rs. 100/- bribe for himself and Rs. 25/- for the constable and assured to protect Sitaram from the Dacoity case.
The appellant Ramajanam was prosecuted under Sec. 161 of IPC and with Sec. 5 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947. He was acquitted by the trial Court. The State appealed to the High Court. The High Court sentenced the appellant with one year rigorous imprisonment. He appealed to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court allowed the appeal and set aside the conviction and sentence.
1. The Court could only proceed on the evidence given on oath in the witness box by the witness and on the statement made in the letter.
2. Where the accused has been acquitted by the trial Court, the presumption of innocence remains and the fact that one Court has doubted or dissolved the evidence strengthens the hands of the accused. It behaves the High Court in such cases to furnish strong reasons why the benefit of the doubt should not go where it has already been placed in the lower Court. Held that strong presumptions of innocence and the doubts which the numerous circumstances raised had not been displaced.
3. The Supreme Court was only deciding whether the High Court had given true effect to the principles which must guide a Court in an appeal against an acquittal and was not holding that certain things must have happened as a fact because that was not its functions.

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