1.1 A Public Servant is said to commit the offence of Criminal
Misconduct (of possession of disproportionate assets), “if he or
any person on his behalf, is in possession or has, at any time
during the period of his office, been in possession for which the
public servant cannot satisfactorily account, of pecuniary resources
or property disproportionate to his known sources of income”, as
laid down under clause (e) of sub-sec.(1) of sec.13 of the
Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
1.2 A public servant thus renders himself liable under this
(i) if he or any person on his behalf –
(a) is in possession of pecuniary resources or property;
(b) at any time during the period of his service;
(ii) if such pecuniary resources or property are
disproportionate to his known sources of income;
(iii) if he cannot satisfactorily account for such disproportion.
1.3 The offence on the part of the public servant is his being
in possession of assets disproportionate to his known sources of
income and his not being able to account for the disproportion.
The public servant commits the offence by no specific act of his,
nor on any particular day relatable to any act of his. He commits
the offence not merely by acquiring assets but by being in
possession of assets and such assets of which he is in possession
being disproportionate to his known sources of income. Acquisition
of assets or possession thereof per se does not constitute an
1.4 The assets are disproportionate, if on a given date chosen
for the purpose, they are found to exceed the total savings he
meeting the total expenditure incurred by him. It is an offence only
if the assets are disproportionate to his known sources of income.
1.5 The date of commission of the offence is the day chosen
for the purpose, on which date it is established that the public
servant is in possession of disproportionate assets whatever be
the dates of acquisition of the assets.
1.6 This is a unique provision in the Prevention of Corruption
Act, the possession of disproportionate assets itself constituting
an offence of criminal misconduct, based on the unstated
presumption that the assets to the extent they are disproportionate
are acquired by corrupt or illegal means or by abuse of official
position, without requirement of any proof thereof.