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Transport staff get 6-month RI for graft

Guwahati, Feb. 21: Two transport department employees have been sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for demanding bribe and harassing a driving licence applicant.

Special court judge Gautam Baruah on February 18 sentenced Kartik Pathak, a lower division assistant of the Darrang district transport office, and another casual employee, Dipen Bania, to rigorous imprisonment for six months and pay a fine of Rs 5,000.

If the accused fail to pay the fine, they will have to undergo simple imprisonment for another month.

“In this case, both the accused persons by demanding and accepting illegal gratification have not only caused wrongful loss to the complainant but also harassed him physically and mentally. At the same time, they have given a wrong message to society at large,” the judge said in his order.

The duo caught red-handed by police in presence of an executive magistrate while taking bribe on July 17, 1997.

“As the nature of the crime and the intent of the accused persons are same in this case, in my view if the duo are directed to undergo rigorous imprisonment for six months and pay a fine of Rs 5,000 each, it would meet the ends of justice,” the order said.

The accused were convicted under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

According to the prosecution, the duo had demanded bribe from the complainant Mukut Sarma for issuing a driving licence.

After Sarma lodged a complaint with the then deputy commissioner of Darrang district, a trap was laid with police help to catch them taking the bribe red-handed.

According to the plan, Sarma gave two currency notes signed by the executive magistrate and as soon as the accused received the notes they were arrested and the notes subsequently recovered from them.

A case was registered at Mangaldoi police station against the duo.

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