A Court here has sentenced two former officials of Agriculture Production Department to one year imprisonment after fifteen years of trial in connection with a corruption case.
Special Judge Anti-Corruption Court Kashmir, R N Watal convictedthen Chief Horticulture Officer Srinagar, Gulam Mohi-din Koul and then SeniorAssistant Officer, Abdul Samad Khan.
"Prosecution has succeeded in proving charge that accusedabused their position as public servants by engaging daily rated workers,hatching conspiracy, in complete disregard to SRO 64 and Order 26-F promulgatedby the government that envisaged prohibition on engagement of daily ratedworkers and casual workers in Government Departments and these engagements werealso de hors to rules and regulations of the recruitment procedure," the courtsaid.
Koul was sentenced to a simple imprisonment for one-year andimposed a fine of Rs 2,00,000. Indefault he has been ordered to undergo simple imprisonment for a further periodof one month under prevention of corruption act.
Also he has been imprisoned to simple imprisonment sixmonths and fine of Rs.10,000 in default thereof he would undergo simpleimprisonment for a further period of one month under 120-B of RPC.
Both the sentences have been ordered to run concurrently.
The court sentenced Khan to simple imprisonment for one-yearand fine of Rs 20,000 and in default thereof he has been ordered to undergosimple imprisonment for a further period of one month under 5(2) of preventionof corruption act.
The court took a lenient view, observing that it cannot beoblivious of the fact that the convicts had no bad antecedents and have alreadyundergone agony of trial for period more than fifteen years as well.
"Moreover the convicts are in their late seventies andthough there is nothing on file to substantiate that accused are suffering fromany disease but old age is itself a disease," the court added.
The charge sheet owed its origin to a complaint ofadditional secretary to Government Agriculture Production Department on 1 July1997 addressed to Commissioner Vigilance Organization Kashmir (VOK) against thethen Chief Agriculture Officer Srinagar Ghulam Mohidin Koul revealing thereinthat delinquent officer issued orders of appointment and Engagement of dailyrated workers in violation of the Government SRO 64 dated 24.3.94 andGovernment order no. 26-F dated 31.1.94 with the help of Abdul Samad Khan,Senior Assistant of the Agriculture department besides a Junior Assistant, whohas died since.