UGC employee gets 3-year jail for taking bribe from foreign students

A suspended UGC employee has been awarded
three years imprisonment for accepting bribe of
nearly Rs 95,000 from foreign students for early
processing of their scholarships.
The court refused to show leniency to 49-year-
old Pradeep Kumar, who was working as an
assistant in selection and Award -I section at
University Grant Commission (UGC), saying he
had abused his official position by demanding
money from foreign research scholars and
caused a “big dent” in the country’s reputation.
“In the present case, the allegations proved
against the convict are quite serious in nature.
He had abused and misused his official capacity
as a government servant and demanded various
amounts from research scholars of foreign
countries and thereby he has caused a big dent
in the reputation of the country, as a whole.
“By his illegal acts, the convict has brought
shame to the country and therefore, does not
deserve any leniency from the court,” special
CBI judge Brijesh Garg said.
Kumar was held guilty under the provisions of
the Prevention of Corruption Act. The court,
which also imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on
Kumar, allowed his plea to suspend the
sentence for two months to enable him file an
appeal against the judgment before a superior
court and released him on bail on furnishing of
personal bond of Rs 25,000.
CBI said an information was received that
Kumar was indulging in corrupt practices and
contacting foreign students selected for Junior
Research Fellowship (JRF) grant by UGC. He
was asking them to deposit bribe amount in a
bank account in Delhi for early processing of
their scholarship amount, it said, adding that
credit entries ranging from Rs 3,000 to Rs
25,000, making a total of nearly Rs 95,000, were
found in his bank account.
The money was deposited by various students
who were nations of Yemen and Palestine, it
said. During the trial, Kumar claimed he was
falsely implicated and had not received any
amount from foreign nationals towards
processing fee of their scholarship amount.
He claimed that the amount deposited by
foreign nationals was towards books’ cost
which they had purchased from his wife. His
counsel sought leniency saying he has to
support his family and would lose his job and
government accommodation if sentenced for
over three years in jail.