Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court last week termed corruption as the “hydra headed monster”, and called all citizens to “come together and tell their Governments that they have had enough”.
Justice Chaudhari observed, “That is the miasma of corruption. If the same continues, taxpayers’ may resort to refuse to pay taxes by ‘non-cooperation movement’. It is surprising that the Unions of Central or State Government employees, whether politically affiliated or otherwise, make demonstrations for demanding the application of CII Pay Commission, but they do not condemn, outcast or demonstrate against their counterpart bureaucracy indulging in corruption. On the contrary, they provide support.”
“It shocks one and all as to the manner in which the taxpayers’ money is being windled, misappropriated and robbed by such unscrupulous holders of posts… For the last two decades, this has become the order of the day and sordid state of affairs; whereas the taxpayers’ are merely looking at this grim situation. Does the taxpayer pay the money to the Government for such kind of acrobatics being played,” the Court added.
The Court then requested the Director General of Police to take up cases of alleged corruption in corporations in Maharashtra and take action on them. “Let the Government as well as mandarins in the corridors of power understand the excruciating pain and anguish of the tax payers, who have been suffering for over two decades in the State of Maharashtra. There is an onerous responsibility on those who govern to prove to the taxpayers that eradication of corruption would not prove for them a “forlorn hope”,” it stated.
The Court was hearing an Anticipatory Bail Application filed by Mr. Prahlad Pawar, against whom an FIR was registered at Police Station, Bhandara. He was accused of offences under Sections 408 (Criminal breach of trust by clerk or servant), 409 (Criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent) and 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
Misappropriation and embezzlement of amount to the tune of approximately Rs. 385 crores was alleged to have plagued the functioning of Lokshahir Annabhau Sathe Vikas Mahamandal (LASVM). LASVM was established by the State Government for upliftment of the “Matang” community, which falls in category of Scheduled Caste in Maharashtra.
One of the members of the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Ramesh Kadam, who was also the Chairman of the corporation, in connivance with the Managing Director of the Mahamandal, Mr. Shravan Bawane, along with Bank Officers of Bank of Maharashtra, withdrew crores of rupees by fake expenditure, disbursement of loan of subsidy, grant etc.
The applicant, Mr. Pawar, was accused of embezzlement of Rs. 24 crore. In view of the gravity of the alleged offences, the Court refused to grant him anticipatory bail.
Read the Judgment here.