Mumbai: Terming corruption as a “gigantic problem”, a special court has sentenced a senior examiner from the Trademark Registry office in Antop Hill to four years of rigorous imprisonment for demanding and accepting ₹5,000 as bribe.
The action was taken under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The accused took the bribe from a private company employee for registering a brand name that already existed in records.
The court refused to take a lenient view and stated in its judgment that “corruption by public servants has become a gigantic problem. It has spread everywhere. No facet of public activity has been left unaffected by the stink of corruption”.
"Corruption has deep, pervasive impact on the functioning of the entire country," says court
Special Judge AS Sayyad further stated that corruption has deep and pervasive impact on the functioning of the entire country and that large scale corruption retards nation building activities and everyone has to suffer on that count.
In 2018, the complainant worked as a supervisor in a pharmaceutical company M/s. Annova Pharma Pvt. Ltd, which had filed an application with the Registrar of Trademarks for the brand name ‘Allonova’.
The office had recorded an objection to granting the trademark as there was a similar trademark already in its registry, and the company had been asked to submit its response.
During a hearing in this connection, senior examiner Nagendra Yadav met the complainant and told him that the objection could be waived and the matter resolved, if he paid ₹5,000. He asked the complainant to return with the amount at 4pm that day. The company did not want to pay the bribe and hence the employee approached the Central Bureau of Investigation with his complaint.
Accused caught red-handed
The following day, a trap was arranged and Yadav was caught red-handed. Special Judge AS Sayyad said in the judgment that the accused abused his position as a public servant and obtained pecuniary advantage and thereby committed criminal misconduct.
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