India Uncut

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

It ain't about the money

The Times of India has a headline today that reads, "Two years jail for bribe of Rs 10!" Regular readers of this blog, all three of them, surely know by now that I am going to pick on the punctuation. Why is that exclamation mark there? I read the first para of the report, and it confirms my suspicions. Here:
A measly Rs 10 taken as bribe 13 years ago has cost a head constable two years of his life - he was sentenced to two years in jail and slapped with a fine of Rs 15,000.
The astonished writer does not seem to realise that the gravity (or levity, depending on your opinion of it) of this crime is not dependent on the weight of the sum involved. A bribe is a bribe is a bribe, and all three are a crime, and it is irrelevant whether the sum involved was Rs 10 or Rs 10 crore.

I find two possibilities for comment, though. One, that it took 13 years to deliver the sentence for a petty crime. And two, that far, far bigger fish get away all the time. That banal observation would hardly justify condoning this, though, and cannot be a case for this punishment being too harsh. Commit crime, go to jail. Just wish it happened more often, and that it took less time.
amit varma, 7:56 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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