New Delhi: A former FCI vigilance official has been sentenced to two years in jail by a Delhi court for offering bribe of Rs 1 lakh to a CBI inspector 13 years ago to influence an inquiry report into alleged purchase of sub-standard wooden crates by the corporation.
Special CBI judge Pradeep Chaddah convicted K K Verma (58), the then Assistant Manager (Vigilance) of Food Corporation of India, and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on him.
The court also lauded the conduct of the CBI official, who instead of accepting the bribe, reported the matter to his seniors.
"Menace of corruption is increasing day by day and ought to be curbed with heavy hand. Conduct of Sub-Inspector Sunil Dutt is commendable. Instead of accepting the offer made by the convict, the duty-conscious CBI officer complained to his superiors and got the convict trapped. For his conduct, he deserves a pat on his back," the court said.
It noted that CBI was investigating few matters pertaining to FCI which included a matter relating to purchase of sub-standard wooden crates. Verma tried to influence the investigation carried out by Dutt.
"He tried to persuade Dutt to incorporate few suggestions in the file of inquiry report and refer the matter back to FCI. The reasons for requesting Dutt to incorporate his suggestions and refer the matter back to FCI were obvious.
"Had the case been referred back to FCI, convict would have been free to deal with the matter with the suppliers of sub-standard wooden crates and line his own pockets," the judge said, agreeing with the submissions of CBI counsel Praneet Sharma.
"Towards this end, he offered bribe of Rs 1 lakh to Dutt and also came up with the first instalment of Rs 50,000. At this juncture, the convict was trapped," the court noted while rejecting his defence of implication in the case.
Verma was nabbed in a trap laid by CBI on Dutt`s complaint in September 2001 when he was about to complete his inquiry on a complaint made by FCI chairman and the ministry concerned about sub-standard wooden crates being procured by FCI.