Mumbai: The Bombay High Court bench of Justice Bharati Dangre on Thursday observed that the only solution to the menace of corruption is to punish corrupt public servants. The judge made the observation while upholding the conviction of a health inspector from Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), who had demanded Rs 800 from a citizen, way back in 1991.
The bench was hearing a criminal appeal filed by Anil Orape, a health inspector from PMC's health department. He was convicted by a special court in Pune in 1997 for accepting Rs 800 from one Motilal Solanki as gratification, other than legal remuneration as a motive for granting him temporary health licence for his shop and thereby abusing his position as public servant and obtaining pecuniary advantage.
The special court had sentenced Orape to three years of rigorous imprisonment.
According to prosecution case, Orape despite being only a health officer, claimed to be the licensing authority and demanded Rs 800 from Solanki.
However, as a defence after being booked, Orape claimed that he had asked for delay fees.
Having gone through the material on record, Justice Dangre said, "The accused (Orape) has accepted that the bribe amount was recovered from him but his defence is he was unaware as to why the amount was placed in his hands. But it is apparent that the accused took advantage of his position as health inspector."
The judge further observed that there has been an increase in corruption cases. "Tracking down corrupt public servants and punishing them appropriately is the only solution to this menace, which is taking a monstrous shape," Justice Dangre observed.
"Let no leniency be shown towards such a greed, the accused (Orape) found to be one, must take the consequence - his conviction and sentence is upheld," the judge said while dismissing his appeal.