Former Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) director and dismissed Jammu and Kashmir-cadre Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Saji Mohan and former NCB superintendent Balwinder Kumar were on Friday awarded 5-year jail for embezzling Rs 13.85 lakh that were seized in drug busts during Mohan's posting in Chandigarh.
Additional district and sessions judge Najar Singh also awarded two-year jail to Mohan under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Dismissing their pleas for leniency, the court, in a strongly worded order, said, "The convicts have committed an inexcusable sin and the court would be failing in its duty in case they are granted leniency."
The court added: "The two have been associated with an organisation whose responsibility is to protect the law. Every human being reposes faith in such organisations whereas (the) convicts' act has shaken the faith."
On March 11, 2013, Mohan and Balwinder were sentenced to 13-year jail in a drug-pilferage case.
"I do not want to say anything," said Saji Mohan after the verdict. "I will appeal against the order. Bhagwan jo karta hai acha karta hai (God does everything for the greater good)," said Balwinder.
UT police had booked the two men on January 30, 2009. Balwinder had handed over the Rs 13.85 lakh, which was part of case property, to Mohan on December 22, 2008, for depositing the amount in a bank. However, the money was embezzled. This came to light after the anti-terrorist squad (ATS) of Mumbai police arrested Mohan with 12-kg heroin.
Following the arrest, an internal inquiry was conducted by the NCB in Chandigarh and a police case was registered on a complaint by the NCB's malkhana (store room) in-charge RC Bodh. Balwinder's name too cropped up in the case. The receipt and the noting sheet of the money were seized during the NCB inquiry.
KNOW THE GUILTY
Saji Mohan, 1995-batch J&K-cadre officer
Son of an ex-army officer, Saji Mohan, was a veterinary doctor and made it to the Indian Police Service (IPS) in 1995. He was posted in Jammu and Kashmir for 10 years before joining the NCB in Chandigarh. He received the President's Award for gallantry and was even sent on UN duty for two years. He had requested the court for leniency, saying that he had ailing parents. His son is autistic and there is no other male member in the family.
For both the convicts, the sentences will have to be served concurrently.
Charge Jail term
Section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent) 5 years
Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) 3 years
Section 13 (i) (prevention of corruption) 2 years
(Rs 18,000 fine)
A former NCB superintendent, Kumar had sought leniency on the grounds that he was the sole breadwinner of his family and had received many commendation certificates during service period.
Section 409 5 years
Section 120B 3 years
(Rs 15,000 fine)