Observing that corruption by public servants has become a gigantic problem and no facet of public activity is left unaffected by the stink of corruption, a special court on Thursday sentenced a former senior official at the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to four years jail.
His aide and close associate Virendra Doke, a director at a firm, was sentenced to three years imprisonment. In October 2015, the then deputy director at FSSAI, Western Region, Mumbai Vasant Sarvade had demanded a bribe of Rs. 2 lakhs from the finance manager of a firm to release their consignment of 96 metric tonnes of sweet whey powder that the firm had imported, which was held at the Customs. CBI prosecutor Sandeep Singh said the aide, a private person who was the director of another firm, had also demanded the amount from the complainant on behalf of Sarvade and told him where to come with the amount. The complainant had not wanted to pay the bribe and had approached the agency.
The court said in its judgment while deciding the quantum of sentence that it is difficult to accept the prayer of both accused for leniency. “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,” it said. The court further stated that corruption has a deep and pervasive impact on the functioning of the entire country and that large scale corruption retards the nation building activities and everyone has to suffer on that count.
It said Sarvade has abused his position as a public servant by corrupt means and has obtained pecuniary advantage without having any public interest and thereby committed criminal misconduct as per provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Similarly, it said that his aide had taken an active participation in demanding the bribe on behalf of Sarvade. It also noted that he had accompanied Sarvade throughout the rap procedure for facilitating him to receive the bribe amount. He has played an active role in executing the alleged crime, the court said.