Transport secy in fodder net

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By RAJ KUMAR in Ranchi
  • Published 14.07.08
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Ranchi, July 14: State transport secretary Sajal Chakraborty was sent to Birsa Munda Central Jail after he became the second serving IAS officer to be convicted in the multi-crore fodder scam today.

Chakraborty was present in court when the court of special CBI judge Binay Kumar Sahay convicted him and 60 others, including 10 women fodder suppliers, in a jam-packed room in the ground floor of the special court.

While the women were sentenced today — three years’ rigorous imprisonment with fines ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 25 lakh — Chakraborty and the others will be sentenced tomorrow.

Chakraborty, who was deputy commissioner when over Rs 38 crore was withdrawn fraudulently from the Chaibasa treasury, was found guilty under eight sections of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.

Investigations into the case was launched after an FIR was lodged on 27 January, 1996, by Chakraborty’s successor at Chaibasa, Amit Khare, now principal secretary to Governor Syed Sibtey Razi.

It also upheld charges that the transport secretary had accepted a laptop computer as bribe.

Chakrabtory is the second IAS officer to be convicted in the fodder scam. Earlier, former commissioner of Santhal Pargana Shripati Narayan Dubey was sent to jail for his involvement in the case (nos: RC 39(A)/96).

Prosecution lawyer Jai Narayan Singh said there were 76 accused in the case (nos: 5iA/96) in which Chakraborty was found guilty. “The accused, including government officials and suppliers, withdraw money from the treasury with the help of fake bills and work orders,” he said.

The fraud was committed during financial year 1993-94.

Among the accused, one is absconding, two have pleaded guilty and four have turned approver. Five accused died during the course of the trial.

Chakraborty’s lawyer Arwind Kumar Mitra said he wasn’t satisfied with the judgment. He denied his client had accepted a laptop as bribe. “I will go through the judgment and then decide on a legal course of action,” he said.

Chakraborty looked shocked at the judgment. “I never expected such a judgment from the CBI court. For whom and what purpose will I take a bribe?” he commented while he was being taken to the lock-up on the court premises.

Among the 50 accused who will be sentenced tomorrow include a civil court advocate Pranav Kumar Prasad. The court also issued non-bailable warrant against three accused who did not attend today’s hearing. The 10 women who were sentenced today (see box) had all withdrawn money from the treasury against supplies not carried out. After their sentencing, all of them were released on bail.