Madras High Court discharges IPS officer from a case of alleged extortion

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Chennai, Jun 7 (PTI) The Madras High Court on Friday discharged IPS officer Pramod Kumar from a case registered against him for allegedly extorting money from the directors of Paazee Forex Trading India Limited, which defrauded depositors to the tune of several crores.

Justice Vivek Kumar Singh discharged Pramod Kumar while setting aside an order of the II Additional District Judge for CBI cases, Coimbatore, which declined to discharge Pramod Kumar from the case, investigated by the CBI and framed charges against him.

Allowing the criminal revision petitions filed by Pramod Kumar, the judge said after an elaborate, analytical discussion of the submissions made on either side and scrutinising the charges framed against the petitioner, the court was of the considered opinion that the same was without application of mind and in violation of principles of natural justice.

The offences levelled against the petitioner in framing the charges have not been proved by the CBI through any prima facie evidence and hence, the impugned orders of the trial court dated November 23 and 28, 2013 (framing of charges) suffers from material infirmity and unsustainable.

The prosecution case was that Pramod Kumar allegedly abused his official position as Inspector General of Police and inter-alia, was involved in extorting money to the tune of Rs 10 crore from the directors of Paazee Forex.

Discharging Pramod Kumar from the case, the judge said in the case on hand, the CBI has not proved the essential ingredients of demand and acceptance as against the petitioner and merely saying that the other accused has received money on behalf of the petitioner, cannot substantiate their case, which was only presumptive.

Such a presumption was legally unsustainable in the eyes of law and there was a lot of difference between 'may be true and must be true.' On appreciation of the entire evidence of prosecution it clearly indicates that the prosecution has failed to prove the offences of the petitioner beyond all reasonable doubt, the judge added.

The judge said there was neither demand nor acceptance of bribe by the petitioner from the complainant and also, there was no recovery and money trial linking the petitioner to any illegal gratification, which was fatal to the case of the CBI and as regards misuse of power for illegal gratification.

The trial court, without proof or commission of offence, has framed the charges against the petitioner and has also misunderstood that the petitioner was a part of the committee that was overseeing the disbursement of funds to the defrauded depositors but he was not at all a member of such committee. PTI CORR VGN SS

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