Mumbai: The Bombay high court while refusing to stay conviction of government servant in a case of accepting bribe said that granting relief to such officers would adversely affect the public’s perception on the integrity of the government institutions.
A single bench presided over by Justice A.M. Badar was hearing a plea filed by Sangeeta Pillay, an official of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), Pune, seeking that her conviction be stayed and her sentence be suspended till her appeal challenging her conviction was decided finally.
The CBI arrested Pillay, last year. They had laid a trap following a complaint from a member of the public. They then arrested Pillay while she was accepting a bribe of Rs 5,000 in return for registering some documents.
A special CBI court convicted her in December last year under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Pillay however, filed an appeal in HC in January this year arguing that sanction for her prosecution had been issued by the state without application of mind.
The bench however, held that while the validity of the sanction would be decided at a later stage, during the final hearing of her appeal, she could not be granted any interim relief in the form of a stay or suspension of her conviction and sentence.
“Such an order (of granting relief), will definitely shake the public’s confidence in the judiciary,” said Justice Badar.