Ex-chief secy held guilty

Sajal Chakraborty at CBI court in Ranchi on Tuesday. Picture by Prashant Mitra  

Ranchi: Former Jharkhand chief secretary Sajal Chakraborty was on Tuesday held guilty in a fodder scam case pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from Chaibasa treasury during financial year 1994-95 when he was deputy commissioner of West Singhbhum.

Chakraborty, who faces three fodder scam cases, was taken in custody soon after the special CBI court (animal husbandry) of Shambhu Lal Shaw announced the verdict. Sentencing is on November 21.

According to prosecution lawyers, Chakraborty was looking at a seven-year jail term based on the IPC and PCA (Prevention of Corruption Act) sections he has been booked under. These are IPC sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using a fake document) and 477A (falsification of account) and PCA sections 13 (2), 13 (1) (D).

"The court has found him in guilty in this case, ie, RC 20A/96. There were excess withdrawals from Chaibasa treasury... these were done with his knowledge and he also received gifts, like computers, from fodder suppliers as kickback," said CBI lawyer B.M.P. Singh.

Chakraborty was the last (45th) accused of the case (RC20/96) to be convicted. Former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad and Jagannath Mishra were also convicted in the case. While Lalu was sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 25 lakh, Mishra was given a four-and-a-half jail term with a Rs 5 lakh fine.

Chakraborty has two other fodder scam cases against him, namely, RC51A/96 in which he was convicted by a lower court and then exonerated by a high court, and RC68 A/96 that is still being tried.


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