• Corruption case

Sirs,
My case is vs CBI. Allegation against me and other 3 officers (from BSNL) involved in criminal conspiracy with contractors. Sections 120,420 477A of IPC 13(1) against us.
Facts of the case
1.laying of 90 KM (Rajgarh to Sarahan) OFC(Optical Fibre Cable) work was allotted to 7 contractors by Solan (Himachal Pradesh) Division by GM of BSNL Solan(Dist) during the year 2009.
2.Work was completed by the contractors and checking work by BSNL officers of Solan Division also completed. Checking involves 100% by JE(Junior Engineer), 50% by AE(Asst. Eng.) and 10% by DE(Divisional Eng.) and processed the contractors bills to planning and account section got approved by GM of Solan BSNL and made payments tho the contractors.
3. Depending of the strata of the soil protection to the OFC has to be provided by the contractors ie if the depth is between 120cm to 90cm protection is split RCC(Rectified Cement Concrete) pipe or GI(Galvonised Iron) pipe, if the depth is between 89cm to 50cm protection is CC(Cement Concrete) with wild Mesh. Competent Authority for certifying that the protection has been provided and relaxation for providing protection the depth between 120cm to 90cm was DGM(Deputy Gen. Manager) of Solan(Dist.) Competent Authority for certifying that the protection has been provided and relaxation for providing protection the depth between 89cm to 50cm was CGM(Chief Gen. Manager) of H.P state.
4. In the case on hand only DGM certification and relaxation has been provided
5. There are two types of bills (a) Running bills and (b) Final Bills. 70% of payment can be released for running bills. Release of 70% payment can be made on the base of  DGM certification and relaxation and 30% of payment has to be released only after getting relaxation from CGM and some other certificates from others like store division, AT(Acceptance and Testing) Division headed by CGM Jabalpur(M.P) which is not a part of Solan Division.
6.A complaint had registered in CBI Shimla during the year 2011 almost 2 years after the execution of the work that there were irregularities in laying of OFC cable. 
7.Based on the complaint CBI visited initially and made FIR against BSNL officials and on contractors
8.CBI inspected the route(Rajgarh-Sarahan) by digging 2 Pits per Kilometer where the protection had been provided. CBI prepared physical inspection memo what they found on ground and what the measurement onMB(Measurement Book) filled by all three Officers of BSNL Solan(ie 100%, 50% and 10% checking officers) at particular point of digging.
9. CBI accompanied BSNL officers, contractors and independent witnesses for conducting physical inspection.

10.CBI constitute one committee from BSNL Solan to calculate loss incurred. The committee had prepared the loss according to the contractors. In the case on hand one contractor had not taken the final payment and the recovery had decided by the committee was Rs. 35 only.
11. Then CBI started interrogation for the interrogation I was also called upon. 
12. I was the officer SDE(Sub Divisional Engineer)from AT(Acceptance and Testing) Division headed by CGM Jabalpur(M.P) head quarter at Shimla. And I was controlled by DE(Divisional Engineer) of AT Division whose head quarter is also at Shimla. During that period my DE was on leave and the charge was with (Divisional Engineer) of AT Division Dehradun.
13. As per procedure once the laying of OFC work has been completed, the execution unit i.e. Solan BSNL unit has to Offer the work to the AT(Acceptance and Testing) Division. There are two types of ATs one is DEPTH AT and another was CABLE AT. They offered DEPTH AT work only to DE Dehradun of AT wing. DE Dehradun allotted the work to me.
14. My role was to conduct DEPTH AT according to the schedule approved by CGM Jabalpur of AT wing. I conducted DEPTH AT by digging 2 pits per Kilometer and made my observations on a prescribed performa and submitted to my superior and a copy to the installer ie AE BSNL Solan for information. My report contains pending points. Once the DEPTH AT completed in all respects with no pending points my superior was the competent authority to issue the DEPTH AT certificate. In this case he had not issued any certificate since my observation contains pending points. The execution unit i.e. Solan BSNL unit had not offer the FIBRE AT to the AT(Acceptance and Testing) Division. However final payments made to the contractors with the absence of DEPTH AT and FIBRE AT certificates from DE AT(Acceptance and Testing) Division
15. I was transferred to Bangalore during the year 2010 in same AT(Acceptance and Testing) Division.
16. I had been called for interrogation during the year 2011 and during interrogation I stated point No.14. They had not shown any record to me during interrogation. Interrogation was done only for about 2 hours at CBI office Shimla.
17. I received H’ble  Court Summon during 2013. CBI made accused me, Three 100% checking officers and 6 contractors. They left one contractor, 50% Checking, 10% checking, planning section, Account section and approval authority and made them as witnesses. Allegations against were Sections 120,420 477A of IPC 13(1), criminal conspiracy between us wrongful gain to the contractors by me
18.During the trial all the PWs supported me stating that my report was only observation report  based on observation report  final payment can not be made. Even account officer admitted that they had made in the absence of observation report  by me. All admitted that my report was a waste paper having no value. In this case the even IO admitted that the location where I dug the pit was not dug by CBI and also admitted that based on observation report  final payment can not be made. Even planning section admitted that they had processed the bill in the absence of certificates from DE AT i.e my boss. As per tender it was clear that for processing of final bills both DEPTH AT and FIBRE AT Certificate from DEAT necessary. Bills were not made available to AT Wing. AT wing is independent wing.
19. There is no transaction of any money or any such type
19. After trail all accused were convicted for SI for 2 years and fine
20. My question is
(a) How I was convicted on what grounds even though I don’t have role in payments?
(b) My advocates advised me to pay the fine and released on bail. Advocates also said that there is a condition that bail may be granted only after the fine amount has to be deposited. Some say that I shouldn’t have pay the fine it clears that I was accepting conviction. Is it true?
(c) I appealed my conviction in the High Court whether my appeal will be allowed?
(d) Can I get Justice from High Court?
Asked 2 years ago in Criminal Law from Bangalore, Karnataka
Dear Querist
My opinion on your queries are as under:

(a) How I was convicted on what grounds even though I don’t have role in payments?
Opinion: Without knowing the facts and ground of judgment, can't say any thing, but as per your information there is no conspiracy committed by you.

(b) My advocates advised me to pay the fine and released on bail. Advocates also said that there is a condition that bail may be granted only after the fine amount has to be deposited. Some say that I shouldn’t have pay the fine it clears that I was accepting conviction. Is it true?
Opinion: No, it is not true, first of all get the bail after deposit the fine and file an appeal before High Court against the conviction order, if your advocate proved your information as you stated here then the court may set aside the conviction order and you may get acquittal.
 
(c) I appealed my conviction in the High Court whether my appeal will be allowed?
Opinion: Its depend on the facts and law mentioned by your counsel in your appeal, on what grounds, your counsel filed the appeal are important to provide best advise.

(d) Can I get Justice from High Court?
Opinion: Definitely, you will get if you are really innocent.
Nadeem Qureshi
Advocate, New Delhi
3522 Answers
129 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
1. If you have given false report about the depth of the laid cable, then you could have been linked with the corruption charge even if you had no direct link with thepayment. Since the CBI did not dig the same point which you had dug, I feel that you can in no way be charged for giving false report. 

2. As per me you should not have paid the fine. Please note that your appeal is against the punishment order of the Court which also includes payment of fine

3.  It should be allowed. It is a good case for you to win on the ground mentioned in para-1 above,

4. From your statements made above I am surprised as to how have you been punished. If, argued well, you have very good chance to get the  CBI Court order set aside by the High Court,

5. Engage an experienced lawyer having expertise in this field.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12055 Answers
228 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. The judgment of the court must be containing a mention of the grounds on which you have been convicted. Since we do not have it in front of us we cannot opine as to on what grounds you have been held guilty. However, you seem to have been wrongly convicted by the court. Your report was only observatory in nature, coupled with the fact that IO had also admitted that the location where you dug the pit was not dug by CBI you could not have been held guilty.

2. You should not have paid the fine. The lower court's finding has to be challenged in its entirety before the High Court i.e the sentence of 2 years and the fine imposed. So it was wrong on your part to have paid the fine.

3. Whether your appeal will be allowed or not is a hypothetical question, so I refrain from answering it, albeit it will be appropriate for me to say that you stand a really good chance of succeeding in the High Court.

4. Yes you can if your case is handled deftly in the High Court.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18061 Answers
446 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
(a) How I was convicted on what grounds even though I don’t have role in payments?
Answer: There must be a judgement wherein grounds for conviction must be mentioned. Since we are not aware of facts and grounds , so it will be very difficult to provide our legal advise. Based on the facts provided by you hereinabove, it seems that you have been wrongly convicted . However, we would yet again examine the order to provide you with exact legal solution.
(b) My advocates advised me to pay the fine and released on bail. Advocates also said that there is a condition that bail may be granted only after the fine amount has to be deposited. Some say that I shouldn’t have pay the fine it clears that I was accepting conviction. Is it true?
Answer: According to our opinion you will first have to move a bail application and should not pay the fine amount. The order passed by the lower court has to be challenged before the High court.

(c) I appealed my conviction in the High Court whether my appeal will be allowed?
(d) Can I get Justice from High Court?

Whether your appeal will be allowed or not is an hypothetical question, so we suggest you to engage a experience lawyer. The facts stated by you above shows that you have a strong case.
Sudershani Ray
Advocate, New Delhi
192 Answers
25 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
As per the facts narrated by you, it seems you had strong case however on what grounds, you have been convicted, cannot be stated here without reading the decision passed where your sentence of 2 years have been awarded against you. 

There was no need to pay the amount, however now whats done is done. You need to strongly challenge the lower court decision in the high court. The chances of success or defeat depends on the lawyer's ability to present your case in the right perspective however considering the facts as stated by you, it seems to be a strong case. If everything goes well, you will surely get the justice from the High Court.
Shaveta Chaudhary (Sanghi)
Advocate, Chandigarh
821 Answers
60 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

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