Court sentences revenue official to 1 year imprisonment

A court here sentenced a revenue official to one year imprisonment after finding him guilty of accepting Rs 5000 as bribe in a decade-old graft case.
Court sentences revenue official to 1 year imprisonment
Representational pic

A court here sentenced a revenue official to one year imprisonment after finding him guilty of accepting Rs 5000 as bribe in a decade-old graft case. 

The court of Special Judge Anti-Corruption Srinagar, R. N Watal convicted Shafat-ul-Rehman, then Patwari Halqa Aarth Budgam, and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on him.

After acting on a complaint lodged by one Farooq Ahmad Dar on 28 May 2009,  the Vigilance Organization Kashmir had charge-sheeted  Shafat-ul-Rehman.

In his compliant, Dar had alleged that thirty years ago his father had "exchanged" his land with one Ghulam Mohi-u-Din and since then levy for the land had not been deposited in the government treasury.

Dar had approached the accused who allegedly demanded from him Rs 15000 as bribe for preparation of the challan and depositing of levy.

Following the demand of bribe, Farooq approached VOK in 2009 with a complaint.

On the receipt of the complaint, the vigilance registered a case (FIR 15/2009) under section 5(1)(d) r/w 5(2) PC Act and section 161 RPC against the accused. 

According to the charge-sheet, a trap was set and the Patwari was caught while accepting the bribe.

After hearing the accused revenue official through his counsel and the senior prosecuting officer Riyaz Ahmad, the court held the official guilty of the offence.   While under Prevention of Corruption Act the accused was sentenced to one year simple imprisonment, under RPC he was awarded a punishment of six months. "Both the sentences shall run concurrently," the court said.

While delivering the judgement, the court made certain observations against the growing corruption in the society.

"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".

"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."

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