Chennai, April 17:
DMK Rajya Sabha member T.M. Selvaganapathy and four others, including two retired IAS officers, were Thursday sentenced to two years’ rigorous imprisonment each after being convicted in a cheating case by a CBI court here.
The court also levied a fine of Rs.25,000 on each of them.
The case related to the time when Selvaganapathy was minister for rural development and local administration in the AIADMK government (1991-1996).
According to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Selvaganapathy, IAS officers J.T. Acharyulu and M. Sathyamurthy and three others – M. Krishnamurthy, A. Arokiaraj and T. Bharathi – conspired to cheat the central and the state governments between 1995-1996, causing a wrongful loss of Rs.2.3 million to the exchequer.
The charge was that Selvaganapathy and others ordered construction/erection of cremation sheds, through cooperative societies under Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY), despite this not being an identified item of work under the scheme.
Further, under the JRY scheme, no advance payments should be made – a rule which they flouted.
However, the convicts entrusted the work to Karungulam Cooperative Society for construction of cremation sheds in Nagapattinam district and payments were made through demand drafts.
The sub-standard work was executed through sub-contractors and not in conformity with the specifications to encash the demand drafts.
During the trial, Arokiaraj died and the charge against him was abated.