MCD engineer’s jail term reduced to one year

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Delhi High Court Wednesday provided partial relief to a Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) engineer by reducing to one year his two-year jail term, awarded for accepting Rs.10,000 as bribe.

Justice A.K. Pathak provided relief to junior engineer S.C. Goel while upholding his conviction under the Prevention of Corruption Act by a Delhi court earlier for accepting the bribe to clear a contractor’s bill pending with the civic body for eight years.

“I have no hesitation in holding that the appellant (Goel) had demanded and accepted from the complainant a sum of Rs.10,000 toward illegal gratification,” said the court, dismissing his appeal against a Delhi court order.

“He has, thus, committed an offence under Section 7 (for taking bribe) and is also guilty of offence under Section 13(1)(d) (for misusing his official position) of the act since he obtained a pecuniary advantage in the form of cash for himself by corrupt and illegal means and abusing his position as a public servant,” the court added.

While reducing the sentence, the high court cancelled Goel’s bail and ordered him to surrender forthwith.

“Goel shall surrender before the trial court forthwith. A copy of this order be sent to the Delhi court with the direction that if he fails to surrender before it, appropriate steps be taken to take him into custody and send him to jail to serve the remaining sentence,” said the court.

The case against Goel was registered on a complaint by contractor Manmohan Bhalla, who had told the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that his firm had executed certain works for the MCD and had raised bills worth a few lakh rupees against this.

On Jan 3, 2003, the contractor requested Goel to get his pending bills cleared, at which he demanded a bribe of Rs.10,000 from him.

On Jan 6, 2003, Goel telephoned the contractor and asked him to come with the money at his office in case he wanted to get his pending bills cleared. Since contractor Bhalla was unwilling to pay a bribe, he approached the CBI and gave a written complaint in this regard.

Goel was arrested by the CBI while accepting the bribe money.

“He had requested Goel to expedite clearing of the pending bill and release the payment, but Goel had demanded Rs.10,000 from him in return,” the CBI had said in its charge sheet.

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