Jorhat, Aug. 22: The court of the chief judicial magistrate, Jorhat, today sentenced the cashier of the district transport office (DTO) to five years’ rigorous imprisonment for misappropriation of government funds.
The order by chief judicial magistrate Darrak Ullah said in case of default of a fine of Rs 2 lakh, the convicted person, Purnananda Gogoi, would have to undergo another year’s simple imprisonment.
Gogoi had misappropriated Rs 18.63 lakh revenue, collected by the district transport office in June 2012.
He has been convicted in GR case (No. 1030/12) filed by the Jorhat district transport officer Ujjal Prakash Sharma on June 29, 2012.
In an FIR lodged with Jorhat police station, Sharma alleged that Gogoi had not deposited revenue collected between June 22 and June 27, 2012 (three of which were working days) by the transport office in the treasury.
Gogoi was alleged to have kept Rs 18,63,795 — revenue collected in three working days by the transport office — with himself, which he was duty bound to deposit in the treasury. According to the government rules, the revenue money collected by a government office each day is to be deposited in the treasury the next working day.
The chief judicial magistrate while convicting Gogoi under Section 409 IPC (criminal breach of trust by public servant) observed, “The conduct of the accused has exhibited wrongful loss/deprivation of public money as well as created an environment of mistrust. The accused person, handling huge amount of government money, has, without the authority and permission of the competent authority, withheld/used the money in a manner violating rules and procedures of the authority.”
“It is rather essential to punish such offender adequately so that deterrent effect emerges in the society,” the judgment said.
It stated that the offender should get adequate punish-ment by way of imprisonment or fine or both, so that the “offender feels the pain for commission of the offences in question”.
“At the same time, society in general should also feel or perceive an amount of fear which can deter the potential offender from committing such type of offence,” it said.
After delivery of the judgment Gogoi was sent to judicial custody. He has one month from today to appeal against the judgment at the district and sessions judge court here.
Additional public prosecutor Sidique Ali led the prosecution side. Gogoi was represented by advocates A. Borpujari and Anshuman Baruah. The charge in the case was framed on May 18.
Sarmah said the court completed the trial fast and the punishment was expected to send a right message to society.