A courtroom right here has sentenced two former Delhi Jal Board officers to 3 years of rigorous imprisonment in a cash laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate, saying it was taking a “lenient view” within the matter.
Particular Choose Ashwani Kumar Sarpal was listening to the case in opposition to Raj Kumar Sharma and Ramesh Chand Chaturvedi, who had been sentenced to 5 years and 4 years imprisonment, respectively by a CBI courtroom in December 2012 for misappropriating round Rs 47.76 lakh from the DJB and in opposition to whom the ED had registered a case in December 2009.
The anti-money laundering company, nevertheless, filed the grievance within the current courtroom in March 2021 after a delay of greater than 11 years and round 4 years after the accused accomplished their sentence within the CBI case.
“The accused individuals, after realising that they haven’t any defence on this current prevention of cash laundering Act (PMLA) matter after conviction in scheduled offences by the CBI courtroom which was upheld by the Supreme Court docket, have pleaded responsible voluntarily,” Particular Choose Sarpal stated in an order handed on Saturday. “They’ve already undergone sentences of 5 and 4 years respectively in scheduled offences in addition to have already spent the misappropriated or cheated cash for his or her defence within the CBI case and different circumstances… so taking a lenient view, each the accused individuals are hereby sentenced to bear rigorous imprisonment of three years and in addition liable to pay a advantageous of Rs 5,000 every,” the choose added.
Particular Public Prosecutor Atul Tripathi appeared for the ED within the case.
Noting the submissions of the accused individuals, such because the duo dropping their authorities jobs, having the accountability of a household, having a meagre revenue, and being reformed after the sentence, the choose stated these could possibly be “real causes” however the courtroom is “helpless” and can’t impose any sentence lower than three years.
The choose additionally famous that in accordance with the related provision of the PMLA, the minimal punishment was for 3 years and this meant even when the courtroom took a “very lenient view”, then additionally the minimal imprisonment of not lower than three years needed to be awarded.
“When there’s a minimal punishment prescribed underneath any regulation, then the accused can’t be given any good thing about the Probation of Offenders Act and no discretion is left with the courtroom to award a sentence lower than the minimal,” the choose stated.
The choose additional stated that after the accused’s conviction within the case registered by the CBI, which was upheld by the Supreme Court docket, they just about had been left with no defence and that’s the reason they’d chosen to plead responsible within the current grievance.
Rejecting the accused’s arguments that imprisonment within the PMLA grievance case would quantity to double jeopardy, the choose stated to function as a bar of double jeopardy, the second prosecution and consequential punishment have to be for a similar offence.
“The CBI case was regarding committing offences of dishonest, misappropriation, prison misconduct of the general public servant whereas discharging official responsibility however the current grievance is regarding utilizing, buying, concealing or claiming and many others. of the proceeds of the stated offences which quantities to cash laundering and thus represent a distinct offence.
“In such a state of affairs, the query of double jeopardy doesn’t come up,” the choose stated.
The courtroom additionally refused to regulate the sentence awarded and undergone within the CBI matter within the current grievance case.
“Little doubt this robust chance of awarding concurrent sentences now has been snatched from the accused individuals resulting from delayed grievance filed by ED however there was no limitation for submitting the current grievance case and accordingly, the mere indisputable fact that ED has woken up after a number of years itself will not be a floor to impose any sentence lower than three years or to regulate this sentence with the sooner sentence undergone in CBI matter,” the courtroom stated.
Sharma was working as a cashier within the west zone of the Delhi Jal Board, whereas Chaturvedi was the assistant meter reader in 2008.
In accordance with the prosecution, from February 2008 to December 2008, the duo entered right into a conspiracy by falsifying and forging the file after which misappropriated or cheated DJB by not depositing round Rs 47.76 within the financial institution.
The CBI had registered an FIR in opposition to the duo in June 2009.
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