HC seeks CBI response on ex-minister Thungon’s plea

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New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the CBI to file response to former union minister P.K. Thungon’s bail application and an appeal against his three and a half years’ sentence in a corruption case.

Justice Siddharth Mridul issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thungon’s bail plea and sought the agency’s response by April 8.

Thungon, convicted and sentenced to three and a half years’ imprisonment on February 29 for corruption in the allotment of government shops here during 1993-94, has also filed an appeal against the trial court’s order. He was taken into custody after the sentencing.

Thungon, a former chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh, was convicted on charges of criminal conspiracy and under the Prevention of Corruption Act by the trial court and also slapped a fine of Rs.1 lakh.

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Two other accused, former urban affairs and employment minister Sheila Kaul and Tulsi Balodi, died during the trial. Appearing for CBI, advocate Rajdipa Behura had told the court that in 1996 the CBI registered a case against Thungon and the others for allegedly hatching a conspiracy in allotting shops and stalls in 1993-1994.

The CBI has claimed that in pursuance to the conspiracy, Kaul abused her official position and sanctioned the shops without calling for any tender from the general public on the mere recommendation of Thungon.

The CBI said this caused a huge pecuniary loss to the government. Thungon is also serving a four and a half years’ jail term in a 1998 corruption case.

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