Corruption as heinous a crime as murder: Delhi HC

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New Delhi, Nov 7 (UNI) The Delhi High Court today said corruption is as heinous a crime as murder and is corroding national character and wealth.

While hearing the appeal of Ashwini Kumar Arora, sentenced to 5-year-RI by the trial court in the case of misappropriation of the compensation amount meant for the '84 riot victims, Justice S N Dhingra not only denied the petitioner any relief but also observed that ''despite the presumption of innocence, the convicts in the heinous crime like murder, ransom are not normally granted bail. Merely because there is a delay in hearing of the appeals, every person convicted by the trial court is not let loose on the society''.

Justice Dhingra refused to allow the appeal for suspension of the sentence.

The court held: '' corruption can't be looked upon as an ordinary crime. It has to be considered as a serious crime eating away national character and national wealth''.

Justice Dhingra said,'' the menace has spread wide and deep. It has to be looked into in proper perspective. When a defence inspector responsible for approving the quality of components of tanks, armed carriers deployed during war time, turns corrupt and procures components of inferior quality, the people who die because of this corruption are the innocent soldiers who go to the war front fighting for the nation. When an inspector responsible for removing the squatters from the roads turns corrupt and accepts hafta from them, the roads turn graveyards. The accidents and loss of lives could have been saved had the person not been corrupt.'' ''Prevention of Corruption Act was intended to curb this evil of corruption and bribe, but experience shows that corruption has increased manifold day in and day out. India is considered among the most corrupt nations,'' it further noted.

Accused Ashwini Kumar Arora was sentenced to 5-year-RI by the trial court finding him guilty of misappropriating the compensation amount meant for the '84 riot victims.

The government had awarded a compensation of Rs 10,000 to each riot victim. The amount was later increased to Rs 20,000 per victim.

However, it was siphoned off by corrupt officials in league with each other through fictitious documents.

UNI

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