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Sub registrar official gets 3 years for taking bribe

An employee of a sub registrar office here and another person have been sentenced to varying jail terms by a Delhi court for accepting bribe for delivering registration certificates relating to properties in 1995.

Special CBI Judge Rajiv Mehra sentenced Ashok Chawla, who was working as lower divisional clerk (LDC) in the office of Sub Registrar-IV in Vikas Sadan to three years jail while Kamal Agnihotri, who was arrested while giving a bribe of Rs 2,500 to Chawla, was awarded one-year jail term.

The two, however, were granted bail by the court after they moved applications seeking suspension of the sentence for challenging the order in superior court.

While holding the duo guilty under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the court said Chawla was ‘habitually accepting gratification’.

‘The prosecution has established that accused Chawla has taken a bribe amount of Rs 2500 offered to him by accused Agnihotri who abetted him in the commission of offence.

‘The prosecution, by the recovery of a further sum of Rs 5,000 from the office drawer of Chawla, has also established that he was habitually accepting gratification as a motive for discharging his official act,’ the court said.

It also imposed a fine of Rs 15,000 and Rs 5,000 upon Chawla and Agnihotri respectively.

According to the CBI, Chawla indulged in corrupt practices and was in the habit of accepting bribe from the public as a motive and reward for discharging his official duties and delivering registration documents of buildings.

The CBI, on information that some officials in the sub registrar office were taking bribe, had raided the office and arrested Chawla while accepting Rs 2,500 from Agnihotri.

The raiding team had also recovered Rs 5,000 from Chawla drawer about which he could not give any explanation.

During investigation, it came out that the amount was being given to Chawla for expediting the delivery of property documents submitted by Agnihotri.

The two convicts had sought leniency on the ground that they are facing the ordeal of the trial for 14 years and have to support their families including school-going kids.

The court, however, said both the convicts were caught in a trap laid by the CBI in the sub registrar office.

‘The corruption as we feel, hear and see is rampant everywhere in this country. It has almost become a norm in our daily life without check. ‘It is not only retarding the efficiency in public service but also adversely affecting the morale of the persons working diligently, truthfully, honestly and devotedly.

Everyone in society, except the two parties who may be gainer for some time and some reason, is suffering on account of corruption,’ the judge said.
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