BENGALURU: Getting work done for ‘a cup of tea’ is wonderful. But not when ‘a spoon of sugar’ is code for Rs 10,000 bribe. A judge of the Karnataka High Court on Thursday decoded the code words used in a sub-registrar’s office to indicate the amount of bribe they expect to register the documents.
Justice B A Patil, who was hearing a writ petition filed by a Senior Sub-Registrar of Tumakuru, decoded the words when K Satish, the counsel of the petitioner, was arguing the case.
“I know how things work in the offices of sub-registrars wherein the documents, like sale deed, gift deed, will, release deed, lease deed, etc., are registered,” the judge said and narrated how a sub-registrar used ‘code words’ to indicate bribe to be received from the public who went to register their documents.
“After the registration of a document by the public, the officer would ask them to order tea from a petty shop near his office.
When the one who registered the document asked the sub-registrar whether he wanted tea with sugar or without it, the latter would say tea with one spoonful of sugar, two spoons and so on. Depending upon the worth of the property registered, the officer would ask tea with one spoon of sugar, with two spoons, three spoons and four spoons.
The public, apparently seeing the ‘simplicity’ of the official, would appreciate him, saying that he was registering the document for a cup of tea’, not knowing that the ‘code’ of a spoon of sugar indicated different things. One spoon meant Rs 10,000.
If tea with two spoons sugar was ordered, the public had to pay Rs 20,000, if three spoons then they had to pay Rs 30,000 to the petty shop owner for a tea,” the judge narrated.
When Justice Patil decoded it, the advocates, including Satish, representing the petitioner, and litigants burst into laughter in the court hall.
The petitioner S Raghavendra, Senior Sub-Registrar of Tumakuru, moved the high court questioning the case registered against him in Tumakuru Town Police Station for allegedly registering a huge property based on forged documents.
The court stayed proceedings against Raghavendra for four weeks.