Delhi court quotes Rajiv Gandhi, convicts 3 for graft

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New Delhi, May 17: A court here on Tuesday (May 17) convicted two CPWD officials and a contractor in a corruption case, while quoting former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi that corruption by government servants lowered the image of public agencies and hampered development.

Those convicted by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Brijesh Kumar Garg are the then Central Public Works Department (CPWD) engineers Phool Singh, 78, and A.R. Bhati, 55, as well as contractor Sanjay Kumar Malhotra, 55.

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"The illegal acts of the convicts, in the present case, have lowered the image of the public agencies and specifically the CPWD, in the eyes of the general public, besides hampering the development work," the court said.

The court convicted the trio in the 1997 case for criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Bhati was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for four years and a fine of Rs.35,000. Singh was handed out one-year jail term and asked to pay Rs.60,000 fine.

Malhotra was also given four-year rigorous imprisonment along with Rs.25,000 fine.

"Convict Bhati made wrong entries in the measurement book, which were verified, test checked and approved by convict Phool Singh. Co-accused Malhotra also admitted these entries as correct, despite the fact that the work... regarding laying of 760.62 metres of SW (stoneware) pipes was not done by him and only 235.87 metres of SW pipes were actually replaced," the court observed.

"Our late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi also admitted, in his political speeches, that only 15 percent of the public money reaches the grass-roots level while the remaining 85 percent allotted by the government for various development projects goes into the pockets of government officials and middlemen."

The court said in this case, almost 70 percent work was done only on papers, by fabricating and falsifying records.

IANS

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