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By the Way

Mehta vindicated, at last

LM Mehta, a 1968-batch IAS officer of the Haryana cadre, was an icon in the state for his humbleness. When he was serving as special principal secretary to the then CM Bhajan Lal from 1992 to 1996, the doors of his office were open to all irrespective of their status. But unscrupulous characters can trap anybody through for their nefarious activities. Mehta also could not rescue himself from the trap laid down by the so-called expose magazine, Tehelka, and Major General SP Murgai (retd). Murgai had served the Indian Army in various capacities including in Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) of Department of Defence Production, Director Quality Assurance (stores) from July 1998 till his retirement. Mehta was allegedly offered a gold chain and `50,000, though he reportedly had asked for `2 lakh for providing an evaluation letter for the products of the fictitious company floated by tehelka.com and represented by its Managing Editor Samuel Mathew along with Murgai. A case was registered against Mehta and he had to slog for 19 years to show to the world that honesty ultimately prevails. A Delhi court convicted Murgai and awarded him three years rigorous imprisonment. During the sting operation, an attempt was made to give a gold chain to Mehta on December 24, 2000 but, the court pointed out that the “recording on the tape would indicate that Mehta did not accept this gift”. Mehta told the court that he handed back the “gift packet” to Murgai, who had come to his house along with Tehelka’s Samuel Mathew, who was posing as shareholder of a company. Mehta, who is currently heading a task group constituted by Haryana government for redressal of pubic grievances, says “the unverified malicious and false allegations sought to be imputed against him had caused severe pain, embarrassment and mental tension all these long years since 2001”. However, he expressed a sense of relief and vindication now that “veracity of his statement in the court had been upheld by the judge in clear terms”. Satyamev Jayate.

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