A former woman official of the Ministry of External Affairs has been sentenced to four years in jail by a Delhi court for misappropriating nearly Rs 42,000 of government fund.
Special CBI Judge Gurvinder Pal Singh held 56-year-old Priti Chakravarty, who was posted as accountant-cum-cashier in the Old External Affairs Hostel of the MEA, guilty of offences punishable under the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The CBI had chargesheeted Chakravarty alleging that from March 2003 to May 2007 during her posting in OEAH, consisting of several residential suites, discrepancies were found in the maintenance of cash and accounts records.
The CBI said special inspection was conducted in June 2007 by audit team and MEA officers and it was revealed there was a short fall in deposit of cash with Reserve Bank of India and the audit revealed that as against the amount of licence fee/rent collected by Chakravarty, a sum of Rs 1,26,849 had been misappropriated by her.
It said she used to receive rent/licence fee from the OEAH occupants, issue receipts, prepare bills and challans for deposit of cash and enter the cash deposits into cash books.
It alleged she was the sole accountant-cum-cashier in OEAH and had received cash against receipts but did not deposit it with the concerned bank.
The court held Chakravarty guilty for misappropriating Rs 41,879 saying that she put the government exchequer to loss "compromising with the economy of the nation".
"Convict (Chakravarty) gave supremacy to illegal personal gains putting the government exchequer at loss to the tune of Rs 41,879. No glimpse of remorse was visible on the face of the convict. Over all entire nation is suffering on account of misdeeds of such offenders who put the government exchequer to such loss compromising with the economy of the nation," it said, also imposing a fine of Rs 20,000 on her.
During the trial, Chakravarty claimed that she was falsely implicated in the case as she was never the incharge of the hostel.
She told the court that she had never went to the bank to deposit the cash collected from the guests against the receipt and the cash collected by other staff in her absence was not handed to her.
Chakravarty claimed she was victim of criminal conspiracy hatched by the AO/DDO and other staffers with ulterior motives.
The court, in its order, noted Chakravarty retained the received cash of Rs 41,879 instead of depositing it in bank.
"Per contra, the accused (Chakravarty) retained the received/entrusted government cash in question i.e. Rs 41,879 instead of depositing it in the accredited bank and converted it to her own use and thus committed criminal misconduct," it said.
"From the testimonies of prosecution witnesses, it is proved on record that cash in question i.e. Rs 41,879 was collected against elicited receipts by the accused in course of her duties as accountant cum cashier, a public servant in OEAH," the judge said.