DA case: Court sends Customs official to four years in prison

The judge said the court cannot conclude that an unfair investigation had been conducted though there were some minor procedural lapses on the part of the investigating agency.
Image used for representational purpose.
Image used for representational purpose.

BENGALURU: The Special Court for CBI cases on Friday sentenced Attar Mohammad Shafiullah, Superintendent of Customs in the office of the Commissioner for Central Excise and GST in Mangaluru, to undergo simple imprisonment for four years and pay a fine of Rs 2 lakh in a disproportionate assets (DA) case. Judge HA Mohan also passed an order to confiscate DA of Rs 8.25 lakh (15.26%) by the Central Government. 

The judge, however, acquitted Asra Shafi, wife of Shafiullah, since there is no material on record which is beyond a reasonable doubt to prove alleged abetment on her part. She was the second accused in the case registered by the CBI under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. 

The judge said the court cannot conclude that an unfair investigation had been conducted though there were some minor procedural lapses on the part of the investigating agency. Also, the court cannot accept the arguments of the counsel of the accused, that the procedure adopted was not fair about the inventory and search. There may be some minor discrepancies but Shafiullah failed to give a satisfactory account of about 15.26% DA beyond his known source of income, hence the court had to accept the case of the prosecution that Shafiullah committed the offence within the purview of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the judge observed. 

According to the prosecution, Shafiullah was working as Superintendent of Customs at the office of the Principal Commissioner of Customs at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, when a crime was registered against him on March 1, 2018, by the CBI for allegedly possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. 

The CBI searched Shafiullah’s house on the same day and seized documents about assets, properties and investments and took an inventory of household items, gold jewellery and bank locker held in his wife’s name. 

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