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Jalgaon Housing Scam: SC Issues Notice To Maha Govt On Suspension Of Conviction Of Politician

Jalgaon Housing Scam: SC Issues Notice To Maha Govt On Suspension Of Conviction Of Politician

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought a response from the Maharashtra government on a plea challenging Bombay High Court orders suspending the conviction and the five year jail term awarded to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Gulabrao Deokar in the 1997 Jalgaon housing scam. Deokar, who had earlier served with the Jalgaon municipal body, and 50 others were tried and convicted by a special court in Dhule on August 31, 2019 under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act. The convicts were awarded jail terms varying from five to seven years.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought a response from the Maharashtra government on a plea challenging Bombay High Court orders suspending the conviction and the five year jail term awarded to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Gulabrao Deokar in the 1997 Jalgaon housing scam. Deokar, who had earlier served with the Jalgaon municipal body, and 50 others were tried and convicted by a special court in Dhule on August 31, 2019 under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act. The convicts were awarded jail terms varying from five to seven years.

Deokar, who has also served as minister of state for transport in the state cabinet, was awarded five years jail term. A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Ajay Rastogi took note of the appeal of one Pawan Narayan Thakur filed through lawyer Nishant R Katneshwarkar against the high court order and issued the notice to the leader and the state government.

Permission to file Special Leave Petition is granted. Issue notice returnable on October 26, the bench ordered in the hearing conducted through video conferencing. Deokar and others have been convicted for their alleged involvement in a 1997 housing scam related to the construction of 11,000 low-cost houses in Jalgaon.

It has been alleged that Jalgaon Municipal body had floated tenders for the construction of the low-cost housing and the project never took off and monies were siphoned off. The plea alleged that there was huge misappropriation and loss to the Municipal Corporation to the tune of Rs 169 crores in the housing scheme initiated by the then Municipal Council. The plea said that the leader, on which a fine of Rs. 5,81,000 was also imposed, was first granted relief of suspension of sentence by the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court.

Later, on January 27, the High Court allowed another interim plea of Deokar and suspended his conviction recorded by the Special Judge. impugned order, the High Court has suspended the conviction of the Respondent No. 3 which was not at all permissible in the eyes of law. The High Court did not see that the power to suspend conviction should be exercised in exceptional circumstances. In the case in hand, the impugned order was passed in a successive application which was filed during pendency of the first application, the plea said.

The plea has also sought an interim stay on the HC order.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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