In a judgment reflecting poorly on Punjab Vigilance Bureau, a local court has found an assistant excise and taxation commissioner (AETC) let off by it involved prima facie in corruption.
The court of additional district and sessions judge Parminder Singh Grewal has asked the bureau’s senior superintendent of police (SSP) to get the mandatory sanction for the prosecution of AETC Jaspinder Singh under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
Posted in Amritsar now after Patiala in 2014 when his private driver Rishipal “Jaspal” Singh was arrested with Rs 20,000 bribe money, the taxation officer is related to a DIG-level officer in the bureau.
as the complainant in the bribery case in which the bureau had recorded the officer’s statement but given him a clean chit and no mention in the charge sheet produced in court. During the trial, the AETC’s accused driver applied for summoning him, since he said “the bribe was for him”.
The court turned it down, saying that the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, mandated sanction from the state government for prosecution. However, the judge also observed: “It appears prima facie that Rishipal demanded and accepted illegal gratification in the AETC’s name to buy a television set to pass on free of cost to an official.”
“AETC Jaspinder Singh is required to be summoned under Sections 7 (public servant’s taking graft other than legal remuneration for an official act) and 13 (criminal misconduct by a public servant) of the Prevention of Corruption Act by invoking Section 319 (power to proceed against others appearing to be guilty of offence) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) but it can’t be done because of the absence of the prosecution sanction,” said the judge, directing the public prosecutor present in the court to run a special messenger to the vigilance bureau SSP in Patiala with the certified copies of testimonies and other material on record to tell him to get this sanction fast.