If govt employee takes bribe, his wife must face consequence too, says Madras HC

The basic philosophy of life is to stay away from bribes. If anyone accepts one, he and his family will be ruined. If they enjoyed the ill-gotten money, they should suffer.
Image used for representational purposes only
Image used for representational purposes only

MADURAI: Refusing to set aside the conviction of a woman, a co-accused, in a disproportionate assets case filed against her husband, a former police officer, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has observed that corruption starts from home and if the home-maker is a party to corruption, then there won’t be any end to it.

Justice K K Ramakrishnan refused to set aside the one-year prison term awarded by a Special Court for Prevention of Corruption Cases in Tiruchy to Deivanayaki in the case filed in 2017 against her husband Sakthivel, a former sub-inspector. While Sakthivel died during the trial, his wife was convicted.

“It is the duty of the wife of a public servant to discourage her husband from receiving bribe. The basic philosophy of life is to stay away from bribes. If anyone accepts one, he and his family will be ruined. If they enjoyed the ill-gotten money, they should suffer. Corruption in this country is unimaginably pervasive. Corruption starts from home and if the home-maker is a party to corruption, there is no end to corruption. The life of Deivanayaki was a bed of roses because of the ill-gotten money, hence she should face the consequence — namely conviction,” the court said.

The court observed that the Tiruchy DVAC police have registered a case against Sakthivel and his wife under Prevention of Corruption Act on the charge of accumulation of assets over and above his known sources of income which was estimated at Rs 6.77 lakh during the check period of January 1, 1992, to December 31, 1996. During the pendency of the case, Sakthivel died. The court convicted his wife and sentenced her to one-year imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 1,000.

Her counsel in an appeal to the Madras HC said that factors that proved that his assets were more than his income were not considered by the trial court. But the High Court declined to accept the arguments and confirmed her conviction. “The punishment imposed by the trial judge deserves no interference. So the bail bond executed by her is hereby cancelled,” the court said.

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