Corrupt public servants to be dealt with sternly: Court

Corrupt public servants to be dealt with sternly: Court

The Delhi high court. File photo

Public servants have the inclination to indulge in corruption and this tendency has to be curbed with a stern hand, a Delhi court said on Tuesday while awarding a 4-year jail term to a police official for taking bribe.

Special Judge Sanjay Bansal sentenced Sarup Singh to rigorous imprisonment for four years and also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on him.

"It is no more debatable that offences under Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act cannot be treated lightly. The problem of corruption is perhaps the biggest challenge being faced by our country. Despite all the intentions, and all the measures being taken by all the three organs of the government, the problem is not yet over," he said.

"Public servants still have the inclination to indulge in corruption. This proclivity has to be curbed, and with a stern hand. Considered so, there is no question of imposing lesser sentence of imprisonment than the minimum," he added.

The case against Singh was registered in 2016 under section 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 on the basis of a written complaint.

Section 7 of the PC Act deals with offence of public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act.

It was alleged that complainant was renovating his canteen at Lawrence Road Industrial Area under Keshav Puram Police Station and it was stopped by Singh, who was head constable at that time.

According to the complaint, Singh demanded Rs 2 lakh bribe to allow renovation work of the canteen.

Following this, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) laid a trap and caught Singh red-handed while accepting money from the complainant.

The convict sought leniency on the ground that he has old parents, ill wife and minor daughter and son in the family who are totally dependent on him for survival. He had told the court that his wife had suffered stroke recently and is still recovering.

The counsel for CBI, however, sought maximum possible sentence so that a stern message goes to the society saying that convict was a police official but still engaged in an illegal activity

Noting the submissions, the court said: "Considering all the facts and circumstances, convict Sarup Singh is sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a period of three years and also to pay a fine of Rs 50,000 for the offence punishable under section 7 of PC Act.

"In default of payment of fine, convict shall further undergo rigorous imprisonment for six months. He is also sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a period of four years and to pay fine of Rs 50,000 for the offence punishable under section 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of the PC Act, 1988. In default of payment of fine, convict Sarup Singh shall further undergo rigorous imprisonment for one year," the court said.

Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act deals with offence of criminal misconduct by a public servant.

Both the sentences will run concurrently, it said.