New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday ruled
that minimum sentence prescribed under law for criminal
offences, including under Prevention of Corruption Act, cannot
be reduced by courts even if the amount involved is meagre and
the accused is likely to lose job on account of the
A bench of justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan said
neither courts can reduce the sentence prescribed under the
statute nor such power is vested even in the Supreme Court in
terms of Article 142 which gives extraordinary powers to the
Article 142 empowers the Supreme Court to pass such
"decree or order as may be necessary for doing complete
justice between the parties".
"In a case of corruption by a public servant, quantum of
amount is immaterial. Ultimately, it depends upon the conduct
of the delinquent and the proof regarding demand and
acceptance established by the prosecution.
"Merely because the delinquent lost his job due to
conviction under the Act may not be a mitigating circumstance
for reduction of sentence, particularly, when the statute
prescribes minimum sentence.
"Though Article 142 of the Constitution gives wider
power to this Court, waiver of certain period as prescribed in
the statute imposing lesser sentence than the minimum
prescribed is not permissible, "Justice Sathasivam, writing
the judgement, said.
The apex court passed the judgement while dismissing an
appeal filed by AB Bhaskara Rao, a head clerk of Indian
arrested by CBI for demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 200
from a fellow employee for showing an official favour on
November 14, 1997.