A decade after a Railway Protection Force (RPF) inspector was held guilty of taking a bribe by a special court of the CBI, the Bombay high court has overturned the verdict on grounds of inconclusive evidence. The police inspector, Subhash Chavan, who was posted at Thane railway station, was accused of demanding and taking Rs1,500 from a railway ticket booking agent in 1999, and that the money was paid through one Ramesh Talreja who operated a watch repair business outside the station.
The agent complained to the CBI, which laid a trap, and Chavan and Talreja were arrested and convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act in 2003.
Judge ML Tahilyani, stated that there was a missing link between the visit of the ticket agent and the witness to the office of the police inspector and the handing over of the marked money to the watch repairer. The special court framed charge against the inspector and the watch repairer in 2002. Judge Tahilyani, stated: “The demand obviously was made earlier when the accused and complainant were not accompanied by anybody else. In the circumstances, in fact, at the time of verification, the investigating officer should have used a tape recorder to record the conversation.
There is no explanation as to why the CBI did not use a tape recorder. ”