MEA official gets six months in jail for aiding illegal travel

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: December 14, 2013 1:16 am

A CBI court on Thursday sentenced a section officer at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to six months in jail for illegally arranging the visa and travel of a man to New Zealand in exchange for Rs 7 lakh.

Special CBI Judge Swarana Kanta Sharma convicted the MEA officer,Manjit Singh,for helping Madu Sudan Bhargo travel abroad as his domestic help in 2006. Singh had obtained permission from MEA to take Bhargo to his next posting at the High Commission in Suva,Fiji.

“Prosecution has been able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt that accused Manjit Singh had during the year 2006 entered into a criminal conspiracy with accused Madhu Sudan Bhargo….and in furtherance of the said criminal conspiracy,he had abused his official position and facilitated his co-accused to reach New Zealand in the disguise of his domestic assistant…and for this purpose obtained a pecuniary advantage to the tune of Rs 7 lakh,” the court held.

Singh was relieved from his service at the MEA on November 2006. He accompanied his family and Bhargo to Singapore and from there to Wellington,New Zealand.

Bhargo left Singh and his family at Wellington airport while Singh joined High Commission of India in Suva on December 2006.

When he was asked to explain Bhargo’s absence,Singh claimed that his domestic help had slipped away at Wellington.

During the trial,Singh’s senior at the Commission deposed that Singh had not reported the disappearance of his domestic help. The court convicted Singh on charges of cheating,criminal conspiracy and corruption.

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