Judicial Magistrate from Gujarat sent to prison for corruption

Ahmedabad: A Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) has been sentenced to two years in prison by a local court here on charges of corruption.

Additional sessions judge VK Vyas while awarding two-year sentence to JMFC Premji Gohil, acquitted his wife Shobhana and brother-in-law Pradeep Mackwana who were accused of abetting him, for lack of evidence.

According to case details, in 2002 Gohil was a serving JMFC in Pardi court in Valsad district of south Gujarat where he was accused of corrupt practices by local lawyers.

Upon receiving complaints, the Gujarat High Court vigilance department initiated an inquiry against him which found that Gohil was in possession of huge property, which he claimed was received by way of gift and even showed various gift agreements.

However, the vigilance department was not convinced with the documents and lodged a criminal complaint against Gohil, his wife and brother-in-law in 2005.

During the trial, public prosecutor, GH Majmudar argued that Gohil was a judicial officer and well versed with law, yet he chose to disobey law of the land and indulged in corrupt practices. He also argued that the gift agreements put forth by Gohil were forged.

After hearing the arguments and examining 31 witnesses and perusal of 42 documents, the court held Gohil guilty of corruption and sentenced him to two years' imprisonment.

During the course of trial, two of the lawyers who had complained against Gohil withdrew their statements. They were declared hostile by the court and their case was referred to the Bar Council of Gujarat for appropriate action.