BENGALURU: A 29-year-old data-entry operator, who was outsourced by the income tax (I-T) department, has been sentenced to four-year simple imprisonment with fine of Rs 10,000, for receiving bribe from a businessman.
alias Murthy worked at the office of assistant commissioner for commercial tax, Indiranagar. The order was passed by judge K Lakshminarayana Bhat of the special court for cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Murthy was trapped by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB
) in November 2018 while accepting Rs 5,000 from a businessman
The businessman had failed to submit IT returns for three months in 2018. So, the tax department prevented him from logging into his account created for paying taxes by temporarily blocking the username and password. The businessman then applied with the I-T department, seeking permission to continue with the same username and password. “Srinivasa Murthy was directed to do the needful for which he demanded Rs 8,000. After the businessman bargained, Murthy agreed to Rs 5,000. The businessman filed a complaint with ACB and we laid a successful trap,” a press note read.
However, counsel for the accused argued that since Srinivasa Murthy was an outsourced employee, he cannot be tried under the Prevention of Corruption Act, special public prosecutor Sanotsh Nagarle told TOI.
“We took a stand that payment was made by the government exchequer to Srinivasa Murthy’s employer. Since the salary to Murthy is paid by the government, Murthy should be considered as a public servant. He was discharging public duty when the complainant approached him. Also, Murthy was accepting the bribe to discharge government duty and hence, he can be considered a public servant,” said Nagarale.