A Delhi court Saturday awarded four years’ rigorous imprisonment to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) former president Bangaru Laxman for accepting a bribe from a fake arms dealer in 2001. The court also slapped him with a fine of Rs.1 lakh. Following are the key points of the verdict:
1. Character or class is not made in crisis, rather it is exhibited. It is the erosion of the moral character of individuals in particular and society in general and lack of national interest, which has led to the large scale of corruption adversely affecting the social, spiritual, political, economical, educational and moral values of our nation.
2. The wisdom in the saying “Crime never pays” is belied by the factual realities of today. The crime scenario in our country is distressingly disturbing, as it has shattered hopes of both the plebeian and intellectual society about the possible rejuvenation of value based society.
3. The problem of large-scale rampant corruption, more particularly, the political corruption, is weakening the political body and damaging the supreme importance of law governing the society.
4. Sentencing is an important part of criminal administration of justice. Judicial discretion plays a pivotal role in sentencing. The object for which “sentence” is imposed is not only to punish the convict for an unlawful act committed by him. But also, it is important to make it clear that the society as such denounces the sort of conduct in which the offender was involved. It is also to deter the other persons from committing the similar offence.
5. Corruption, to my mind, is worse than prostitution as latter might endanger the morals of individual, wheras, the former invariably endangers the entire society. It is virulent for the nation and makes people full of ire. However, the problem is that, when a society which publicily rues corruption, but privately indulges in it, then we need to ask ourselves, do we really want a corruption-free society.
6. Here comes the importance and role of the courts. The courts should not be a distant abstraction omnipotent in books only. Courts have to act as an “activist institution” which is cynosure of public hope. The courts will be functional futility, if it does not put its all guns blazing, until the wrong is righted.
7. No doubt the company ie M/s Westend International and the product ie HHTIs which they were promoting were both fictitious, but this fact was only known to the representatives of the company, who had approached the convict for favour.
8. Convict Bangaru Laxman had agreed to exert his personal influence in favour of the fictitious company for his personal gains by way of getting “illegal gratification” with the intention and belief that the product for which a supply order is required, is genuine.
9. The accomplice of crime of corruption is generally our own indifference. “Sab Chalta hai” syndrome has led us to present situation where we are, where nothing moves without an illegal gratification.
10. Corruption in itself is bad and in the words of Hon’ble Supreme Court is like “cancer” for the society. Its gravity and magnitude assumes dangerous and perilous proportions, if the same is done by someone in position of authority, to compromise with the defence mechanism of our country and lives of its brave soldiers.