Chennai, Apr 17 UNI | 3 months ago

A CBI Court today convicted former AIADMK Minister and now DMK Rajya Sabha Member T M Selvaganapathy and four others and sentenced them to two-year Rigorous Imprisonment each in the cremation shed scam.

Delivering the verdict, Ninth Additional Special Judge for CBI cases Ms S Malathy also imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 each on them.

Apart from Mr Selvaganapathy, who had served as the Rural Development and Local Administration between 1991 and 1995, four others, including two retired bureaucrats, were also convicted.

Mr Selvaganapathy later quit the AIADMK and joined the DMK in 2008 and was made a Rajya Sabha Member in March 2012.

The Anti-Corruption Branch of CBI, Chennai, registered a case on May 2, 1997, on the directions of the Madras High Court against Mr Selvaganapathy, J T Acharyulu, former Secretary, Rural Development, M Sathyamurthy, former Director, Rural Development, M Krishnamurthy, Project Officer (Retired), A Arokiaraj and T Bharathi on charges that entered into a criminal conspiracy between 1995 and 1996 at Chennai and other places in Tamil Nadu to commit criminal misconduct and to cheat the Central and the State governments on construction/erection of cremation sheds under Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY), which was not an identified item of work under JRY Scheme.

They had used JRY funds knowing fully well that the construction of cremation sheds was not an identified item under Jawahar Rozgar Yojana and such work should not be entrusted to co-operative societies and that payment of advance to the societies was prohibited by the State Government.

Though the work should not have been entrusted to Cooperative Societies, Karungulam Cooperative Society was given the work order for erection/construction of cremation sheds in Nagapattinam District.

Further, the payments were made to the said Society through demand drafts. Mr Arokiaraj, Special Officer of the Society, facilitated Bharathi, who executed the work of erection/construction of cremation sheds though he was not the member of the society.

The works were executed in a substandard manner through the sub-contractors and not in conformity with the specifications, to encash the demand drafts.

The accused Selvaganapathy, Acharyulu, Sathyamurthy and Krishnamurthy abused their official position in collusion with Arokiaraj and T Bharathi and caused a wrongful loss to the tune of Rs 23 lakh to the Government.

After investigation, the chargesheet was filed by CBI against the accused under sections 120-B IPC r/w 420 IPC and Sec 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, and specific offences under Section 109 IPC, 420 IPC.

During trial Arokiaraj had expired and charges against him were abated.

On completion of the trial, all the remaining five accused including Selvaganapathy were convicted and sentenced to undergo two years' RI each today.

(Posted on 17-04-2014)