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In corruption cases, public servants can be convicted on circumstantial evidence: SC

According to the Supreme Court, a public servant can be found guilty of illegal gratification in a corruption case based on circumstantial evidence without direct oral or documentary evidence.

The Constitution bench, headed by Justice S A Nazeer, said complainants, as well as the prosecution need to try hard to bring corrupt public servants to justice and get them convicted so that government and governance don’t get corrupted.

The bench, which was also made up of justices B R Gavai, A S Bopanna, V Ramasubramanian and B V Nagarathna, said it was permissible to draw an inference of culpability without evidence from the complainant.

According to the top court, the public servant can be convicted even if direct evidence of the complainant isn’t available owing to death or other reasons.

The prosecution can prove the demand of illegal gratification by allowing any other witness either orally or in writing to testify during the trial or by demonstrating circumstantial evidence in the event the complainant turns hostile or is dead or is unable to testify during the trial.

According to the bench, “the trial does not end nor does the public servant get acquitted.”

While examining whether inferential deductions of guilt could be drawn based on other evidence, in the absence of direct or primary evidence of bribery demands, the apex court reached its verdict.


Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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