A retired bank officer has been awarded seven years jail in a graft case for misappropriation of public funds and causing loss to a PSU bank by a Delhi court which also sent his wife for three years in jail for conspiring with him.
The court observed that when the protector of public trust becomes destroyer, the root of the society is affected and the convict instead of guarding it, had indulged in defeating public cause by diverting bank’s money for his personal gain.
Special CBI Judge Pitamber Dutt sentenced 61-year-old Paramjeet Singh Bakshi, the then Manager (Loans and Advances) in Punjab and Sind Bank, to seven years in jail for various offences including criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust by public servant, falsification of accounts under the IPC and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
His wife Charanjeet Kaur was sentenced to three years imprisonment for the offence of criminal conspiracy. She was granted bail for two months to enable her to file an appeal against the conviction and sentence.
The court imposed a fine of Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 50,000 on Bakshi and Kaur, residents of Delhi, respectively.
It observed that being a manager in Punjab and Sind Bank in Delhi, Bakshi was the custodian of public money and public trust which citizens have reposed on a nationalized bank that their hard earned money would remained secure.
“However, convict Bakshi instead of acting as a guard of public interest, indulged in defeating the said public cause by diverting public money of the bank in furtherance of his criminal conspiracy with convict Kaur, who happens to be his wife for their personal gain.
“When the protector of public trust becomes destroyer, the very root of the society is affected. When a public servant who was working in a bank starts treating the public money as his personal property then he not only commits criminal breach of trust but erodes the faith of citizens of a country in banking institution,” the judge said.
The case was lodged by the CBI on the basis of a complaint in August 2001, alleging that Bakshi conspired with his wife and caused huge pecuniary loss to the bank by fraudulently diverting public money in his loan accounts and a fictitious account of Kaur. It had alleged that Bakshi had then invested this money in purchasing shares from companies during 1997 to August 2000.