A Delhi Court has awarded a four-and-a-half year jail term to former union minister, PK Thungon in a corruption case. Last week, former Congress minister, Mr Thungon and three others were convicted in a 1998 corruption case relating to misappropriation of central funds.
The Court also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on Mr Thungon, who also served as chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh in the past.
According to the CBI, Mr Thungon had misappropriated a fund of Rs two crore allocated for renovation and upgradations of irrigation projects in Nagaland in 1994, when he was the then minister of state in the Union Urban Affairs and Employment ministry.
Earlier, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told the court that despite holding high offices of chief minister and a union minister, Mr Thungon still committed the crime. The prosecutor submitted, "An appropriate sentence should be awarded to Thungon while keeping in view his stature. The three other convicts helped him in the conspiracy, so appropriate sentence should be given to them."
Seeking leniency by the Court, Mr Thungon said, "The Jawaharlal Nehru Open University was my brain child... The Panchayati Raj was enacted in Parliament because of my idea during the tenure of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and I have worked for national integration."
Special CBI Judge Ajay Kumar Jain replied by saying, "I think you were in wrong company. You appear to be an honest man by your face and your talk."
The others, Tali AO and C Sangit have been awarded a three- and-a-half year jail term, while Mahesh Maheshwari has been handed a two-and-a-half year jail term in the case. The Court also imposed a fine of Rs 6,000 on Mr Tali, and Rs 4,000 on Mr Sangit and Mr Maheshwari each.