Former Union minister, and Arunachal CM P.K. Thungon was on Monday awarded a 3 and 1/2 year jail term in a graft case relating to allotment of government shops in 1993-94. Apart from the jail term, special Central Bureau of Investigation judge Sanjeev Aggarwal also imposed a fine of Rs.1 lakh on Thungon.
The court has convicted Thungon for the offences under section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code read with section 13d (iii) (if while holding office as a public servant, obtains for any person any valuable thing or pecuniary advantage without any public interest) and 13(2) (criminal misconduct by public servant) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The court acquitted two other accused—Lakhpa Tsering and Krishna—in the case.
Thungon was the minister of state for urban affairs and employment at the time of the alleged offence when the Congress government was led by prime minister P.V. Narsimha Rao. Apart from them, the then urban affairs and employment minister Sheila Kaul, and Tulsi Balodi were also accused in the case.
In July 2015, Thungon was awarded a four-and-a-half-year jail term in a 1998 graft case relating to misappropriation of central funds. A case was registered by the CBI in 1996 against Kaul, Thungon, Tsering, Krishna and Balodi for allegedly hatching a conspiracy in allotting shops and stalls in 1994.
According to the CBI, the five accused had allegedly conspired during September 1993 to June 1994 for dishonestly and fraudulently obtaining undue benefit in the allotment of shops on economical licence fee basis in contravention of rules governing such allotments.
The CBI had claimed Kaul and Thungon allegedly committed offence of criminal breach of trust to cause undue pecuniary advantage to their relations and friends, Tsering, Krishna and Balodi and dishonestly allowed these three to convert to their own the government shops entrusted to the minister.
It had said that in pursuance to conspiracy, Kaul abused her official position as minister and in the capacity of custodian of government shops, dishonestly and without any public interest sanctioned allotments of three shops without calling for any tenders of applications from general public on mere recommendation of Thungon in a market opposite Red Fort.
The agency had also alleged in the chargesheet that Kaul caused huge pecuniary advantage to Tsering, Krishna and Balodi and corresponding loss to the state exchequer.
The CBI said the case was registered after the Supreme Court in 1996 directed it to probe the allegations of corruption and bribery in the matter of out-of-turn allotment of government shops and lodge cases against the offenders. The three shops were alloted on 9 April 1994 and 12 May 1994, the agency had said.
The court had framed charges against the accused in March 2009 for the offences of criminal conspiracy read with criminal beach of trust by public servant of the IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.