India ranks prominently high in the list of countries plagued by corruption, a Delhi court has said while handing down one year imprisonment to two convicts in a 24-year-old graft and forgery case.
Observing that the anti-corruption measures in India were perceived by people to be ineffective, Central Bureau of Investigation special judge VK Maheshwari said that corruption was a scourge that not only affected progress and development in society but also posed a grave challenge to governance.
"Unfortunately, India ranks prominently high in the list of countries plagued by corruption. Anti-Corruption measures in India are perceived by the people to be weak and ineffective," the court said.
"The United Nations Global Report on Crime and Justice quotes public opinion surveys in a number of countries, to point out that citizenry in those countries ranks corruption as one among the five most important problems facing their society," the court said Thursday, in a verdict that has just become available.
The judge said people's doubts over the ability of the criminal justice administration to deal with the corrupt led to public cynicism and distrust in almost all government institutions.
The court awarded one year rigorous imprisonment to OP Dabas and AK Puri for helping a Tihar Jail inmate get shifted to a state-owned hospital and avail nursing home facilities in 1988. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 60,000 each on the convicts.
Dabas and Puri helped Gurbux Biryani, arrested in a drugs case, to shift from jail to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital and then to the adjoining GB Pant Hospital and avail special nursing home facilities on two occasions July 28, 1988 and Aug 5, 1988. Biryani died Jan 25, 2010 during trial.
Dabas was working as reception assistant in GB Pant Hospital and Puri was the brother-in-law of Biryani.
The court held both of them guilty under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, criminal conspiracy and forgery.
The court acquitted Jolly Bansal, a doctor, and Sushil Kumar, an LNJP hospital employee.
"Ashok Puri in connivance and conspiracy with Dabas had got Gurbux Biryani illegally admitted to LNJP Hospital and managed false and forged admission summary/transfer summary on the basis of which in furtherance of his criminal conspiracy along with OP Dabas got Biryani admitted to GB Pant Hospital on July 28, 1988 and Aug 5, 1988," the court said.
CBI prosecutor Brajesh Shukla examined 55 witnesses in the case.