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