The Supreme Court has expressed concern over growing corruption in the government machinery, particularly in the income tax, sales tax and excise departments, saying “ nothing moves without money”.
“It is very unfortunate that there is no control over corruption in the country. There is rampant corruption, particularly in the department of income tax, sales tax and excise department. Nothing moves without money,” a Bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and T.S. Thakur said.
The apex court was admitting an appeal filed by the CBI challenging the acquittal of an income tax inspector, Mohanlal Sharma, by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Additional Solicitor General P.P. Malhotra, appearing for the CBI, submitted that Sharma was acquitted by the high court despite the trial court holding him guilty of demanding and accepting a bribe of R10,000 from an IT assessee. He was earlier sentenced to one year’s rigorous imprisonment by the trial court.
The bench said “why doesn’t the government legalise corruption so that a specific amount is fixed for every case... That way, every individual will know how much bribe he has to pay.”
It added sarcastically, “Poor government officials, we can’t blame them also because of the growing inflation.”
Sharma, who appeared in person, denied the allegation and said he was falsely implicated.