Bidar: Some may call it an irony of the system or mockery of justice.
While hundreds of politicians and public servants amass in crores and yet go scotfree, a man has been handed a sentence of seven years in jail by the Lokayukta court for accepting a paltry sum of Rs 600 as bribe, that too six years ago.
But bribe is a bribe, say many who look at the judgement as what future holds out to those indulging in corrupt practices. The higher the amount the higher the punishment could be, they feel.
Rajkumar, the village accountant of Chamboli village in Bidar taluk, had demanded and accepted Rs 600 in the from of bribe for settlement of a land dispute on August 8, 2009.
He was caught red-handed by the Lokayukta police of Bidar district with sufficient proof. He was booked under the anti-graft laws. After a prolonged hearing of six years, the Lokayukta court has just pronounced its judgement sentencing him to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 8,000.
Judge Sanjeev Kumar Hanchate opined that corruption cases had gone beyond limits in the country. The quantum of bribe did not matter. Whether the bribe take was a rupee or a lakh, it would be bribe in any case. Hence there was no question of condoning the act, he ruled.
As the court gave its ruling, Rajkumar’s wife and family members who were present in the premises were seen breaking down. He has been the only earning member and the couple has five daughters.
Whether the judgement will serve as a warning bell for the corrupt is yet to be seen.