Special CBI Judge Manoj Jain directed the CBI to take requisite steps in confiscating a plot in Punjab belonging to convict Darshan Singh and acquired in the name of a company M/s Badridham Tea Co.

To send across the message that a public servant must not enjoy properties acquired with the help of ill-gotten money, a Delhi court on Wednesday confiscated a plot belonging to a suspended CPWD chief engineer who was sent behind bars for three years and fined Rs.1 lakh in a disproportionate assets case even as the Prevention of Corruption Act does not specifically provide for confiscation of property.

Special CBI Judge Manoj Jain directed the CBI to take requisite steps in confiscating a plot in Punjab belonging to convict Darshan Singh and acquired in the name of a company M/s Badridham Tea Co.

The company was formed for pumping in the money received by contractors in lieu of award of contracts worth crores of rupees.

The court also said that any public servant should notify his employer about his property and keep him updated about it but in the present case the same was not done.

Darshan Singh, on the other hand, pleaded that he was an honest officer and his efforts brought electrification to the remotest of the areas of Arunachal Pradesh. He was suspended in 1995.

The court also sentenced Singh's wife, 75-year-old Amar Kaur, and his brother-in-law Gurmish Singh, who were made paper-directors of the shell companies through which they acquired numerous assets with the ill-gotten money, to one year simple imprisonment and Rs.50,000 fine.

“Confiscation of property is not in vogue for want of specific provision under the Prevention of Corruption Act. However, the court can still resort to such action with the aid of provisions contained under the Criminal Procedure Code,” the court said.

Darshan Singh had joined as section officer (electrical) in Agartala, Tripura, in 1960. He was absorbed in PWD department in Arunachal Pradesh and raised to the position where he was given additional charge of Chief Engineer (Power) Arunachal Pradesh in 1992.

In abuse of his official position, he awarded contracts worth several crores and received huge commission. During the check period from 1991 to 1997, he was found possessing assets of Rs.68.67 lakh.

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