New Delhi, May 21: A sacked Indian Airlines officer has been jailed for four years for possessing disproportionate assets worth Rs 63.06 lakh, double his known income, by a Delhi court which said he failed to maintain the "purity" of public office.
Special CBI Judge Kanwaljeet Arora awarded four years rigorous jail to Greater Kailash resident Rohit Sehgal, son of a retired DCP in Delhi Police, and also directed him to pay Rs five lakh fine, while observing that the 'kuch nahi hota' (nothing happens) attitude has resulted in raising the audacity of people to flout laws and needed to be checked.
The court said there are "innumerable" public servants, who instead of thinking in the national interest, misuse their official positions for their own economic uplift rather than letting the government do something for those who are needy.
If corruption is not tackled, it will lead to "death of society" by continuous debilitation, it said.
The court said being a public servant, Sehgal, an ex-area manager in Indian Airlines in Kuwait, had committed criminal misconduct by possessing pecuniary resources of Rs 63.06 lakh from June 2000 to June 2003 and he could not give satisfactory reason about it as the money was disproportionate to his known sources of income.
It said Sehgal was driven by greed and failed to maintain the purity of his public office and criminally misconducted himself by having assets disproportionate to the known sources of his income.
Sehgal, posted in Delhi as a senior manager (Commercial) in Indian Airlines Ltd before being transferred to Kuwait, was held guilty by the court for the offences of amassing wealth disproportionate to his known income and criminal misconduct by a public servant under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
"It is this criminal misconduct in which convict(Sehgal), had indulged by amassing pecuniary resources disproportionate to his known sources of income, which society denounces and as such is required to be punished.
"Merely because convict was not involved with any direct act of bribery, the offence for which he has been convicted does not get diluted," the judge said.
"Degeneration in the moral, ethical and national character of the society in general and individuals in particular has resulted due to lack of effective and proper implementation of Law. The attitude that 'kuch nahi hota' (nothing happens) has resulted in raising the audacity of people to flout the laws with impunity and have made corruption, a way of life.
"It is not the young people that degenerate, to my mind, they are not spoilt," the judge said, adding it is the mature who are already sunk into corruption.
During the trial, Sehgal said the Investigating Officer and the CBI had failed to take into account the innumerable perks, to which he was entitled to, while being posted as area manager in Kuwait.
Sehgal had sought leniency on the grounds that he had a clear and unblemished record of public service and had got various promotion during his service with Indian Airlines.
The court, however, rejected his leniency plea and also dismissed his contention that proper sanction for his prosecution was not taken by the CBI.
The court said that since he was dismissed from service by Indian Airlines Ltd, no sanction for his prosecution was required as per provisions of the PC Act.
It, however, said a sanction to prosecute Sehgal was given by the Centre as though he was an Indian national, but the offence for which he was chargesheeted was committed when he was in Kuwait.