Cor­rup­tion can­not be con­doned even if amount is mea­gre, says apex court

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES NATION - AmitA­nand.Choudhary @times­group.com

New Delhi: Favour­ing zero tol­er­ance to­wards cor­rup­tion, the SC has said cor­rupt acts could not be con­doned even in cases where the amount in­volved was mea­gre and any sym­pa­thy to­wards delin­quent of­fi­cials was un­called for.

A bench of Jus­tices Arun Mishra and L Nageswara Rao re­fused to show le­niency to­wards a bus driver of Ut­tarak­hand Trans­port Cor­po­ra­tion who was caught for al­low­ing 61 pas­sen­gers to travel with­out ticket and up­held the state’s de­ci­sion to sack him. It set asi- de the HC or­der which had di­rected the state to re­in­state the driver.

In this case, the cor­po­ra­tion’s in­spec­tion team had found in 1995 that 61 pas­sen­gers were trav­el­ling with­out a ticket. The driver was sus­pended and a de­part­men­tal probe or­dered against him. The dis­ci­plinary au­thor­ity dis­missed him from ser­vice in 1997 af­ter which he moved the HC which di­rected the state to re-in­state him. The HC held that the in­quiry re­port was not pro­vided to the driver in ad­vance be­fore the show-cause no­tice was is­sued to him. Chal­leng­ing the HC or­der, the cor­po­ra­tion moved the SC con­tend­ing it was not manda­tory to sup­ply re­port be­fore the show-cause no­tice and there was no il­le­gal­ity in pro­ceed­ings against him.

The SC agreed with the cor­po­ra­tion and set aside the HC ver­dict. Plead­ing for le­nient ap­proach, driver con­tended that the dis­missal was dis­pro­por­tion­ate to his delin­quency. “.... acts of cor­rup­tion/ mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion can­not be con­doned, even in cases where the amount in­volved is mea­gre,” the SC bench said.

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