An 88-year-old former joint secretary in the Ministry of Commerce has been sentenced to one year in jail by a Delhi court in an over 30-year-old case for amassing disproportionate assets of over Rs 23 lakh.
The court awarded the jail term to Krishan Bahadur, resident of East of Kailash here, saying that if people in such high posts on whom public reposes great faith, indulge in looting public resources, nothing will be left for poor masses of the country.
“This fact cannot be glossed over that the convict was a senior officer of Indian Legal Service who was working as Joint Secretary and legal advisor working in the Ministry of Commerce at the relevant time, yet he amassed huge amount of ill gotten money by abusing his official position by illegal means…
“If people in such high positions, whom public reposes great faith will indulge in looting the public resources, nothing will be left for poor masses of India, who look upon them for amelioration of their condition, public servants are expected to serve the people, not to deprive them or to fill their own coffers,” special CBI judge Sanjeev Aggarwal said.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on Bahadur and said that the amount of Rs 26,78,900 recovered from his house and lockers which is lying in the treasury is forfeited to the State and be deposited with the government exchequer.
A case was lodged against Bahadur by CBI in December 1984, alleging that he had misappropriated a huge sum of money.
He was appointed as a deputy legal advisor in the Ministry of Law and Justice in 1969 and was posted as joint secretary and legal advisor in Ministry of Commerce in 1983 and continued to work there till 1984 when he was suspended, the CBI said.
It said that during October 1969 to December 1984, his total income was Rs 5.9 lakh. The CBI alleged that Bahadur was found possessing assets of over Rs 45 lakh as on December 4, 1984 which were disproportionate to his known income.
During the trial, he claimed that the entire prosecution evidence was false.
In its verdict, the court referred to Mahatma Gandhi’s
saying that the world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not enough for everyone’s greed.
“This insatiable desire of a person to amass wealth for his future generations is the root cause of corruption in Indian society, without pondering over the reality of life, from dust we are made, and dust we shall be.
“No doubt trial of this case has been going since 1986 and has been delayed as documents in this case were misplaced and substantial time was consumed in reconstruction of the record,” the court said.
The court, in its 219-page verdict, held that Bahadur was found possessing disproportionate assets of around Rs 23 lakh and he could not satisfactorily give plausible explanation as to how he acquired this wealth or pecuniary resources.
Bahadur sought leniency in sentencing saying he has roots in the society and was aged and has to take care of his bedridden wife.
The court, however, said that criminal misdemeanor of the convict were not mitigated by his age nor washed away by passage of time.