New Delhi: Dismissing the bail plea of an arrested Navaratna PSU chief, a Delhi court has endorsed the popular opinion that "corruption flows from top to bottom" and said in a democratic set up public servants are expected to set an example for the masses.

"When public servants sitting at the top position indulge in corruption, the culture of corruption flows from top to bottom and the entire institutions are likely to be corrupted," said special CBI judge Sanjeev Jain while dismissing the bail plea of suspended NALCO CMD AK Srivastava.

Srivastava was arrested for allegedly accepting bribe from a private firm for awarding it lucrative contracts.

"Corruption at high places discredits the public authorities in the eyes of the citizen," the judge said, adding, "In our democratic set up, the authority of state is being exercised through public servants. Senior public servants are expected to set an example for the masses."

The court dismissed Srivastava's bail plea saying, "The main offence of demand and acceptance of bribe" was committed by him.

"Considering the overall facts and circumstances, the material on record against the accused, his role in commission of the offence, the gravity of offence committed by him, its overall impact on the society at large and apprehension of his tampering with the evidence, it is not a fit case for bail at this stage," the court said.

Srivastava had sought bail on the ground of parity as the five other co-accuseds in the case have already been released on bail. The court said as the main offence was committed by him, he cannot claim parity with other accused persons.

Detailing the role of other co-accused, including businessmen GS Bhatia, JS Bhatia and Ratan Pal Singh, middleman BL Bajaj and his wife Anita Bajaj and NALCO Chief's wife Chandani Srivastava in the case, the court said, "In comparison to the bribe givers or the middlemen who are private persons, the offence of public servants (involved in demand and acceptance of bribe) is more serious."

Srivastava was arrested on February 25 along with his wife Chandani, alleged conduit Bajaj and his spouse Anita, after the CBI recovered about 10 kg of gold bricks, jewellery valued at around Rs 2.13 crore and Rs 30 lakh in cash from their possession.

Later, other co-accused Singh, Bhatia group's GS Bhatia and JS Bhatia were also arrested.

(Agencies)