22 convicted for fraud in employment



New Delhi: Twenty-two persons including four government officials have been sentenced to a year in jail each by a Delhi court for committing various illegalities in employing labourers in an ordnance depot here in 1996.

Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal ordered jail terms for them after holding them guilty of manipulating employment procedures to manage appointment of ineligible candidates as labourers in the depot in lieu of illegal gratifications.

The four officials who were convicted are erstwhile Zonal Employment Officer Ghanshyam Dass, Lower Division Clerk Praveen Kumar, Peon Pradeep and one Kartar Singh of Nangloi Zonal Employment Office.

"The facts and circumstances show they (Dass and three other public servants) hatched a conspiracy to sponsor names of 22 selected ineligible and bogus candidates for the post of labourers to the ordnance depot by manipulating and forging the records and also destroying the evidence (employment cards) of candidates by accepting illegal gratification..," the court said.

The public servants and the candidates were held guilty under the Prevention of Corruption Act and for the offences of hatching conspiracy and committing forgery and cheating under the Indian Penal Code.

It also said they "caused wrongful gain to themselves and simultaneous wrongful loss to the poor and innocent unemployed persons registered with the zonal employment exchange waiting for years for their turn and their names to be sponsored to the employers for employment according to their seniority." The public servants were fined Rs 36,000 each while the 18 beneficiaries were fined Rs 30,000 each.

The sentences of all the convicts were, however, suspended till September 24 so that they can go in an appeal against their conviction.

The prosecution had alleged that names of candidates sponsored for the appointment were not correct and bogus candidates were sponsored by taking bribe.

It had said the Defence ministry's ordnance depot at Shakur Basti had notified 31 posts of labourers (23 general category and 8 other backward classes) on October 14, 1996 and had asked for lists of eligible candidates from the sub-regional employment officer at Employment Exchange, Kirby Place.

In response to the notification, the sub-regional employment office circulated vacancies to seven zonal employment exchange.

Meanwhile, source information was received that names of candidates sponsored by Ghanshyam Dass were not correct and he had sponsored names of bogus candidates after taking bribe.

The matter was inquired into and out of 31 candidates selected for verification, 20 general category and 2 OBC candidatesm, sponsored by Dass, were found bogus.

It was found that their employment cards prepared at the time of registration for employment assistance stood lapsed at the time of sponsorship of their names for appointment as labourers.

PTI