A local court on Friday sentenced former zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB),Chandigarh, Saji Mohan to five years of imprisonment under Section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) read with Section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
The court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Najar Singh also slapped a penalty of Rs 20,000 on the convict. Mohan was also awarded a concurrent punishment of three years and two years of imprisonment for criminal conspiracy and corruption.
While awarding the sentence, the court held, “The convicts are all associated with organisations whose responsibility is to protect the law. Each and every human being reposes faith in such organisations, whereas the convicts have shaken that faith.”
The co-accused in the case, Balwinder Kumar, was also sentenced to five-year imprisonment under Section 409 read with Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code along with three years of imprisonment under Section 120 (B) read with Section 409 of the IPC.
The court had held both the convicts guilty on March 4.
Mohan and his accomplice Balwinder Kumar have already been convicted and sentenced to 13 years of rigorous imprisonment for pilfering 60 kg heroin from 13 unclaimed seizures by another court.
Responding to the plea taken by the accused for leniency, the court held, “Though they have been convicted, both the convicts continued to plead innocence and in the name of their family members who are suffering without the head of the family. The argument that a lenient view may be taken as they are in custody for a long time has been taken care of while awarding the sentence. This court shall always sympathise with the families of wrongdoers as they also suffer whenever a convict is punished.
However, the law must take its own course and keeping in view the gravity of the offence on which they have been held guilty.”
Mohan was accused of embezzlement of official funds amounting to Rs 13.81 lakh. He misappropriated the funds during his posting in Chandigarh as the NCB zonal director in 2007-08. Mohan was booked by the UT Police for embezzlement of funds on a complaint lodged by ‘malkhana’ in-charge R C Bodh. A chargesheet in the case was filed in June 2009.
According to the police, Mohan had embezzled cash from the storehouse of the NCB headquarters. It was stated that he had taken Rs 13.81 lakh from the seizure room in-charge, Balwinder Kumar, to deposit it in the State Bank of India. A receipt was found from the storehouse stating that Mohan had received the said amount from Kumar, but the amount was never deposited in the bank.