Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 04 October 2023 6.58 PM IST

A warning to bribe takers


The CBI court in Ernakulam pronounced a verdict that was seldom heard in court chambers. A former customs deputy commissioner, his wife, and three daughters were sent to prison by the court with an additional fine of Rs 2 crore. The officer while in service used to live a life of exuberance minting money through corruption. His financial wealth skyrocketed ergo putting the family under the lens of authorities. According to the court version, it should not just be the culprit who amassed money but also the family members who should be punished for knowing about the whereabouts of the lucre but still insisting on living a life of opulence. The court restricted an arrest of the family till the 29th of June and has allowed the family to appeal the court decision. Whatever the final verdict, this judgment made by Justice K K Balakrishnan instills hope and is more of a last-bid warning to such officers in power who are on a money-making run with impunity.

Former customs officer P R Vijayan, while in official colors amassed a wealth of Rs 78.9 lakhs during 2000-05 times. The money made through ill deeds was placed in banks and was used to buy properties in his wife and daughter's name. The CBI findings reveal more such appalling lows from the former customs top head. The CBI also found 100 souvenirs of gold from P R Vijayan’s locker.

In another story, Kerala got the shocker of news as electrical inspector K K Soman who was just hours away from taking new charge as the deputy chief engineer at the electrical directorate got arrested in cinematic style by vigilance, According to insiders, Soman's craving for money travels back years. He has adapted to the new age times and has resorted to every such dealing through google pay. Soman till now has taken more than Rs 3 lakh from people through online payments. Normally, officers fear transactions through online means as it leaves traces for security agencies to backtrack corruption. However, the audacity of Soman to make money through Gpay tells more about the fall of vigilance in Kerala. Officers care less about such investigations as they have routes aplenty to escape the big retribution weaved by authorities. Nobody is there to point fingers as cahoots with union leaders and political top brass ensures a way out of the mire.

This situation timely brings us back to the 1993 Mohanlal starrer Midhunam. In the movie, Mohanlal’s character pleads with an array of officers to seek approval for his biscuit factory. The shrewd electrical engineer and his lackeys ward off the actor with petulant reasons, pushing the cue to bring more money to seek approval. Later into the movie, Innocent who played Mohanlal's brother confronts the electrical engineer with slaps in an attempt to coerce approval. The scene left many splitting into laughter, and now after thirty years, the relevance of this single scene towers more than anything.

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