A DDA employee, caught while taking a bribe of Rs 8,000 for allowing unauthorised construction, has been sent to jail for four years by a Delhi court which said "undue leniency" in such cases was neither "desirable nor warranted".
The court sentenced 52-year-old Shashi Bhanu, working as a Junior Engineer (Enforcement Branch) in DDA at the time of the offence in 2008, and slapped a fine of Rs 1 lakh on him, saying the main objective of sentence in graft cases was deterrence and prevention of such crimes. "Large range of public servants, starting from the lowest rung to the highest level, are covered under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Similarly, the range of corruption is also wide between petty bribes to corruption in thousands of crores by top rank public servants.
"... In the cases of corruption, the main objective of sentence is deterrence and prevention of such crimes by way of deterrence. Reformation theory of punishment has comparatively lesser applicability in such cases," special CBI judge Sanjeev Jain said.
Bhanu was held guilty of taking illegal gratification, criminal misconduct and misusing his official position under the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act.
The court, however, acquitted R K Sharma, a DDA employee, of the charges of conspiracy under the IPC and provisions of the PC Act due to lack of sufficient evidence.
According to CBI, a case was lodged against Bhanu and Sharma for demanding a bribe of Rs 8,000 from complainant K V I Krishnan for not issuing demolition notice and also to settle the matter of construction in his DDA flat in Bindapur.
The accused had also threatened the complainant that they would get demolition orders for the construction if he failed to pay them the bribe amount, CBI had said.
Krishnan had approached CBI, saying he was alloted the DDA flat in 1995 under expandable housing scheme and no separate sanction was required for construction of two-and-a-half floors. The DDA officials, however, demanded money for permitting him to continue with the construction of his house.
When he did not pay the bribe, the officials served a showcause notice to him and thereafter, he filed a complaint in January, 2008 with CBI against the two accused.
A trap was laid by CBI and Bhanu was caught while accepting Rs 8,000 from Krishnan.
While sentencing Bhanu, the judge said, "... In my opinion, undue leniency in such cases is neither desirable nor warranted. The punishment should be proportionate to the gravity of offence but as well as should be deterrent enough to give a right message to such similar offenders.
"No democratic country can progress if the system of rule of law is continuously damaged by the cancerous corruption. Therefore, corruption is one of the most serious offence which requires no leniency...
"Corruption is like an infectious disease which progress day and night if not checked in time," the court said.