A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Saturday awarded a 3-year jail term to a former judge in a 26-year-old graft case.
Special CBI judge VK Maheshwari sentenced former judge Gulab Tulsiyani to undergo three years' rigorous imprisonment and slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on him.
Tulsiyani, while holding the post of metropolitan magistrate at a Delhi court, was caught accepting a bribe of Rs 2,000 at his residence June 6, 1986 from complainant Ajesh Mittal. Tulsiyani had asked a bribe from Mittal for settling his judicial matter pending in the court. He retired from judicial service in 1998.
The court, while awarding the sentence to the former judge, said the public's confidence in the judiciary was getting shattered day by day. Special judge Maheshwari expressed his dissatisfaction saying that at present, the judiciary was suffering from self-inflicted wounds.
The court said: "The judiciary must take utmost care to see that the temple of justice does not crack from inside, which will lead to a catastrophe in the justice delivery system resulting in the failure of public confidence in the system."
The court also added that judicial office is an office of public trust, therefore high integrity, honesty, ethical firmness is the requirement of society from the judge.
"A judge's conduct is expected to be judged by standards higher than that expected from any other public servant," said the court.
The special judge remarked that to keep the "stream of justice clean and pure", a judge must be endowed with "sterling character, unimpeachable integrity and upright behaviour".
However, the court suspended Tulsiyani's sentence till May 28 and allowed the former judge's interim bail after the convict informed the court that he would like to appeal against his conviction.