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Years after the multi-crore Public Distribution System (PDS) scandal had rocked Arunachal Pradesh, a Special Court has convicted a former director of the state food and civil supply department for acquiring huge sums of money disproportionate to his declared sources of income and awarded him five years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 2 crore.
The Special Court in Lakhimpur in Assam – to which the case was transferred from Arunachal Pradesh – in its judgment said Ngangin Lego alias NN Osik, former director of food and civil supply, had deposited Rs 2.89 crore in his personal bank account over a period of several months in 2002-2003 by abusing his official position.
The Special Judge held him guilty under Sections 13(2) read with section 13(1)(c) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and also ordered one year extra rigorous imprisonment if he failed to pay the penalty of Rs 2 crore. The Indian Express on Wednesday accessed a copy of the judgment that was passed on June 15.
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Giving details of the money that Lego alias Osik had deposited in his personal bank account (No 4660 in UCO Bank, Itanagar), the Special Court judgment said the former officer had between April 2002 and July 2004 deposited at least 28 cheques totaling Rs 2,89,43,071 which he had allegedly received from different persons. It was around that time that he, in his official capacity had issued cheques to a number of PDS contractors from a government account (No 4665) in the same bank in Itanagar.
While Lego alias Osik – who had opened the bank account (No 4660) on December 4, 2000 and subsequently converted it into a joint account with his wife Poonam Osik on November 4, 2004 – claimed that the money belonged to his wife, he subsequently could not substantiate his claims. His wife had apparently taken “loans” from different persons to purchase a hotel, an idea which she later gave up, he had claimed.
The judgment noted that several of the persons from the officer’s wife had reportedly taken those “loans” were actually PDS contractors who had received payments for their work from a government account (No 4665) in the same Uco Bank branch, and that those payments were made by the department through cheques which were signed by none other than Lego alias Osik himself.
While former food and civil supply director Lego alias Osik is the first person to have been convicted in the multi-crore PDS scandal, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Arunachal Police had in August 2010 arrested former chief minister Gegong Apang for his alleged involvement in it. (ends)