Former union minister P.K. Thungon convicted for graft

New Delhi: A special court here has convicted former union minister P.K. Thungon in a 1998 corruption case and sent him to judicial custody.

Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Judge Ajay Kumar Jain on Monday convicted Thungon, also a former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister, and three others in the corruption case. The order was made public on Tuesday.

The court also remanded them in judicial custody.

Thungon and others were held guilty of offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating by personation, cheating, forgery of valuable security), forgery for purpose of cheating and using as genuine a forged document under the Indian Penal Code and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The other accused who were also convicted are Tali A.O., C. Sangit and Mahesh Maheshwari.

The court will hear arguments on the quantum of sentence on July 27.

Thungon, then the minister of state for urban development and employment in the P.V. Narasimha Rao government, along with the other accused, was involved in misappropriating money meant for an irrigation project in Nagaland.

According to the CBI, Thungon connived with officials of Nagaland's irrigation and flood control department in placing a bogus order for sausage wire for a project during 1993-94.

Investigations revealed that no wire was supplied to the department but payments were made against bogus delivery.

According to CBI, in pursuance to the proposal of the state government, the then Planning Commission sanctioned an amount of Rs.2 crore for the renovation and upgradation of minor irrigation projects for Nagaland and the money was to be released in two instalments of Rs.1 crore each.

The agency said that pursuant to the sanction of the first instalment, the money was kept in civil deposit by the Nagaland government and on the request of joint director, irrigation and flood control, orders were placed for purchase of "sausage wire".

The CBI said that Tali submitted a bill of Rs.29,99,295 and he had requested that a demand draft of Rs.10 lakh should be prepared in favour of Thanu Thungan and another demand draft of Rs.15 lakh in favour of K. Konngon Konyak.

The agency further said that Mezakrol, who was the then joint director, irrigation and flood control, got these demand drafts issued.

It said that demand draft of Rs.9,98,500 issued in favour of Thanu Thungan was deposited on April 25, 1994 at Daryaganj branch of Vijaya Bank here in an account which was opened by Maheshwari.

It was alleged that Thungon, in conspiracy with Maheshwari on April 25, 1994, dishonestly and fraudulently, got opened an account in the name of Thanu Thungan who was a non-existent person and this money was withdrawn by Maheshwari.

Tali, in connivance with Konyak and Mezakrol, had got issued a supply order for sausage wire issued in his name whereas this was actually not supplied and he also signed the receipts for recieving the amount and submitted a bill for Rs.29,99,295.

A case was registered against them on 1998. CBI has charged 10 accused in the case including Thungon in 2003.

Later one of the accused was discharged in the case while the court framed charges against four accused including Thungon.

At the time of framing of charges on November 2007, a court here observed that sanction of prosecution could not be obtained against Konyak, Mezakrol, Neilakuo Suokhrie, Khrieuguozo Angami and Badang Wapang who were also chargesheeted in the case.

Special Judge Jain on Monday also issued summons to the five accused -- Konyak, Mezakrol, Suokhrie, Angami and Wapang -- to face trial in the case and asked them to appear on November 4.

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