SRINAGAR Observing that corruption destroys the societal will to progress, accelerates undeserved ambitions and kills the conscience, Court Of Special Judge, Anti-Corruption Kashmir, has sentenced a revenue official to one years imprisonment after convicting him for demanding and accepting Rs 5000 as bribe in nearly a decade-old graft case.
The judge, R. N. Watal, who also holds additional charge of Additional Special Judge Anti-Corruption Srinagar, also imposed a fine of Rs 10000 on the official, Shafat-ul-Rehman, the then Patwari Halqa Aarth Budgam.
The Vigilance Organization Kashmir had charge-sheeted Shafat-ul-Rehman following a written complaint lodged by Farooq Ahmad Dar on 28 May 2009, alleging that his father had exchanged his land with one Ghulam Mohi-u-Din about 30 years ago and since the levy for the land had not been deposited in the Government Treasury. Farooq approached Shafat-ul-Rehman, the then Patwari Halqa Aaruth Budgam who allegedly demanded Rs.15000 as bribe for preparation of the challan and depositing of levy.
Being against the bribe, Farooq approached Vigilance Organization in 2009 with complaint and bribe money of Rs.5000 to be paid to the Patwari on demand. On the receipt of the complaint, an FIR No.15/2009 under section 5(1)(d) r/w 5(2) PC Act and Section 161 RPC was registered. A trap was set and the Patwari was caught while accepting the bribe, according to the charge-sheet.
After hearing counsel for revenue official and Riyaz Ahmad, Senior Prosecuting Officer, the court held the revenue official guilty.
Corruption is termed as plague which is so contagious that once it enters the system, it engulfs the system. It destroys the societal will to progress, accelerates undeserved ambitions, kills the conscience, jettisons the glory of the institutions, paralyzes the economic health of the country, corrodes the sense of civility and mars the marrows of governance, It is indeed a biggest challenge more than that of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and pollution, the court observed.
Today, the court said, the corruption is rampant and has gradually become routine.
World-wide bribery alone is estimated to involve over one trillion US dollars annually. Having assumed alarming proportion, preparatory of such crimes cannot be let off conveniently, when corruption was sought to be eliminated from polity all possible stringent measures are to be adopted within the boundaries of law. One measure is to provide condign punishment for giving deterrent impact on public servants who are prone to corruption practices, the court said and sentenced the convict to undergo simple imprisonment for one year for offence punishable under section 5(1) r/w 5 (2) of P. C. Act and also to pay a fine of Rs.10,000.
He shall further undergo six months imprisonment for offence punishable under section 161 RPC and fine of Rs.3000. Both the sentences shall run concurrently. In default of payment of fine, convict shall further undergo simple imprisonment for three months.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.