A PWD engineer, accused of demanding and accepting bribe from a contractor, has been sent to four years in jail by a Special court. Special Judge Poonam Chaudhry convicted 46-year-old Ved Prakash, who was working as an assistant engineer in Public Works Department (PWD), for the offences of taking illegal gratification and criminal misconduct by a public servant under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
He is accused of demanding and accepting bribe from a contractor who was awarded the contract of renovating the residential complex of a city government hospital. Besides the rigorous jail term, the court also imposed a fine of Rs 40,000 on him.
“I am of the view that the evidence on record … shows that accused demanded and complainant gave bribe money to accused, which he accepted voluntarily knowing it to be illegal gratification. The prosecution established through the evidence of complainant… that currency notes were recovered from the possession of accused,” the judge said.
While prosecutor Balbir Singh said that keeping in view nature of offences, a stringent view may be taken against the convict, Prakash sought a lenient view saying he was the sole earning member of his family and had two minor children.
According to the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB), a complaint was received in 2014 from a man, working as a government contractor and was awarded the renovation work of toilets of a girls hostel in the residential complex at GTB Hospital in East Delhi.
The accused engineer was responsible for the supervision of the work given to the contractor. The complainant alleged that Prakash was harassing him and demanding five per cent as commission of the payments received by him. He had demanded part payment of Rs 12 lakh i.e. Rs 60,000 and threatened the complainant that he would allot the work to someone else if the bribe was not paid.
The complainant told the engineer that he had already suffered losses in the contract and would not be able to pay commission but the accused was adamant and did not pay any heed to his request, the complaint had said, adding that the tender, issued in the name of Avtar Builders, was of Rs 43 lakh and it was awarded to him for Rs 27 lakh.
The contractor lodged a complaint with the ACB which laid a trap and caught the engineer while accepting Rs 50,000 as bribe. During trial, Prakash denied the allegations against him and claimed that he was innocent.