MADURAI: Observing that a person cannot be convicted for corruption on the sole ground that the phenolphthalein test conducted on him/her turned positive, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court set aside the conviction and sentence imposed on a Stamping Inspector who allegedly demanded Rs 200 bribe for stamping a weighing table scale of a vendor in 2005.
Justice M Nirmal Kumar passed the order while allowing an appeal by Stamping Inspector K Gurusamy against the six-month imprisonment awarded to him by a special court in Virudhunagar in 2015.
The judge observed that the allegation of demand and acceptance of bribe by the inspector was not proved. The vendor, who had accused Gurusamy of demanding bribe, turned hostile and the remaining pieces of evidence relied upon by the prosecution have several contradictions, he noted.
He pointed out that the amount seized from Gurusamy could be the stamping fee, which he is entitled to collect. Phenolphthalein test turning positive alone cannot be cited as a ground to convict a person, the judge held and passed the above order.
Phenolphthalein is a smooth-textured white chemical powder usually applied in small quantity on the currency notes or other objects by vigilance sleuths to prove the transaction of bribe.