SC jails Kerala Ex top bureaucrat for 1 year for stealing jack fruit tree

Friday, Nov 14, 2014,21:03 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | The Supreme Court today awarded one year jail term to former Managing Director of Kerala State Handicapped Persons Welfare Corporation for theft of a 40-year-old jack fruit tree belonging to government in 1996.
A bench of justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit upheld the conviction of Antony Cardoza, who was charged with getting the tree cut and taking it to his house, in the theft case and directed him to surrender within three weeks to undergo the sentence.
Awarding the sentence, the bench took lenient approach towards the former government official on ground of his age and medical condition and reduced the three years jail term, given by trial court, to one year.
However, regard being had to the age and medical condition of the appellant, we deem it appropriate to reduce the substantive sentence on each count to simple imprisonment for one year maintaining the order as regards fine and sentence in default. The appellant is directed to surrender within three weeks to undergo the remaining sentence, it said.
In this case, an FIR was registered pursuant to Deputy Superintendent of Police, Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau, Thiruvananthapuram reporting that in the vigilance enquiry it was revealed a jackfruit tree of about 40 years of age was cut and Cardoza got it removed and cut into convenient pieces and took it to his residence at Alapuzha on June 25 1996.
The trial court in 2000 sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for three years and to pay fine of Rs 20,000 under various provisions of Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act. He then approached the High Court which turned down his appeal, thereafter, he moved the apex court.