Balgovind Prasad, 75, has been sent to prison for three months for accepting a bribe of 25 rupees (or 51 cents) from a street sweeper in 1985 to issue a federal medical certificate. He was originally sentenced to a year, but the court recently reduced the sentence due to the small size of the bribe.
The case never reached an actual trial until 1992 and Prasad was then allowed to appeal his sentence. Such delays are common in India.
The fact is that faked medical certificates are a real problem in India as are bribes. The fact that the bribe was so low is due to the economy, which 51 cents was obviously a sufficient amount for false documents. The question is whether it would have been better to strip the doctor of his license and impose a hefty fine for such a small bribe. Moreover, the length of delays in India should be the source of considerable alarm. This is obviously ridiculous for a relatively small case.
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