Retired army officer gets two-year jail term

A retired army officer has been sentenced to two years' imprisonment by a court here for amassing assets of over Rs.68 lakh, disproportionate to his known sources of income.

New Delhi: A retired army officer has been sentenced to two years' imprisonment by a court here for amassing assets of over Rs.68 lakh, disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Dinesh Kumar Sharma awarded the jail term to retired Brig. Samir Baron Ray who has also been slapped with a fine of Rs.5 lakh.

"Samir Baron Ray was found guilty under Section 13(1)(e) with Section 13(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act for possessing disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs.68,09,969," the court said in its order released Tuesday.

However, the court took notice of a plea made by Ray's counsel Ghanshyam Sharma seeking leniency. The counsel apprised the court that Ray has served the Indian Army for about 33 years with an unblemished record. He was judged as 'outstanding' in most of his annual reports.

Ray also took part in the 1999 Kargil war, said Ghanshyam Sharma.

However, public prosecutor Naveen Giri requested the court to award exemplary punishment to Ray.

He said a senior army officer should be a role model for society and Ray has failed to be so.

The court said sentencing any convict is a delicate task.

"On the one hand, the mitigating circumstances of an individual are pleaded and on the other hand, the interest of the society is placed at large," the court said.

"The court has to balance the interest of an individual and interest of the society."

The CBI registered a case against Ray Aug 31, 2008, when he was the deputy director general, Ordnance Services.

The agency alleged that Ray amassed huge assets under his name as well as under the name of his family members from April 1, 2000 to Aug 31, 2008.