January 10, 2009 1:39:04 am
A former principal of a municipal school was on Friday convicted by a special Anti Corruption Court for demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 200 for issuing a duplicate school-leaving certificate to one of his students.
Special Judge S N Sardesai convicted 62-year-old Mulchand Mishra,ex-principal of Sanjay Nagar Uccha Prathamik School in Govandi. According to the complainant,Govandi-resident Lalji Patel had approached Mishra for getting a duplicate school-leaving certificate made for his brother Dinesh Patel who had studied up to seventh standard in the school. The complaint further stated that when Patel visited Mishras office on June 17,2002 for obtaining the certificate,he was told to pay Rs 225 for it.
Mishra later explained to Patel that Rs 25 were the certificate issuing charges and Rs 200 was his bribe. Patel agreed to pay the bribe and simultaneously lodged a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). The ACB then laid a trap at the school and arrested Mishra while accepting the bribe.
During the trial,public prosecutor V Desai examined four witnesses including panch witnesses Patel and the ACB sleuths. Mishra denied the charges saying Patel had on his own handed over Rs 200 to him and kept it in his drawer. However,Desai proved through a demonstration in court that Mishra had willingly accepted the amount from Patel by using his right hand and then kept it in a diary which was kept inside a drawer. This narration was corroborated by the testimony of a panch witness.
Accordingly the court accepted the prosecutions arguments. However,considering the age of the accused the court took a lenient view and convicted Mishra to three months rigorous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 on him.
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