NEW DELHI: Municipal corporations are breeding ground of corruption and strong steps are needed to stop those blatantly corrupt, a Delhi court today said as it awarded two years jail to a suspended MCD official for amassing assets disproportionate to his known income.
Special CBI Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal awarded jail term to Dina Nath Aggarwal, a junior engineer in Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), and said it was common knowledge that even small officials of municipal corporations have amassed wealth running into millions with impunity.
He was held guilty under the Prevention of Corruption Act for amassing wealth disproportionate to his legal income.
"Corruption is like cancer which grows silently but ultimately eliminates the human being... In the case of municipal corporations which are breeding grounds of corruption, if not checked, can spread to epidemic proportions. Any ordinary citizen having experience of dealing with them would know, how they fleece people. No one is spared," the court said.
"The hope of ordinary citizen is fading. This hope cannot be allowed to extinguish/dwindle. The municipal corporations should take steps to stop this blatant corruption churning monsters. These masters of corruption should know that sooner or later gargantuan teeth of law will crush them with no mercy shown, lest they mend their ways," the judge said.
The court imposed a fine of Rs 75,000 on Dina Nath and released him on bail for a month to enable him to file an appeal against the judgement before a superior court.
The court said this case warranted that strong and deterrent punishment be awarded to the 55-year-old convict, but took a lenient view considering that he was a patient of depressive disorder while his wife was also under treatment.
"Prosecution has proved that convict was in possession of disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 16,71,657 to his known source(s) of income. ... In view of the findings, it is
apparent that convict had acquired these assets from ill-gotten means. In these circumstances, it is directed that convict's assets equivalent to the value of Rs 16,71,657 are forfeited to the State," the court said.
During trial, Dina Nath claimed that he has been falsely implicated and sought leniency in sentence on the ground that he has to take care of his ailing wife and was himself unwell.
CBI had filed a case in 2001 alleging that Dina Nath was possessing disproportionate assets of Rs 27 lakh in a short span of 12 years of service through illegal means.