Ex-chief secy of J’khand convicted in fodder scam
A special CBI court in Ranchi on Tuesday convicted former Jharkhand chief secretary, Sajal Chakraborty, in a fodder scam.
The case relates to the fraudulent withdrawal of ₹37.7 crore from the Chaibasa treasury in 1994-95 when he was deputy commissioner of the district.
The quantum of punishment would be announced on November 21. The 62-year-old former bureaucrat, popular for his eccentric lifestyle and kindness towards animals, had argued the case on his own most of the time.
The vociferous orator, however, on Tuesday kept silent and went morose as the judge pronounced the verdict holding him guilty.
Chakraborty was soon taken into custody and by the time of filing of this report and preparations were on to send him to the Birsa Munda Central Jail here.
A Type-I diabetic and a chronic cardiac patient for decades, Chakraborty has multiple ailments and was recently undergoing treatment for acute depression.
His doctors said the conviction would further tell on his health.
Chakraborty’s lawyer, AK Mitra, said that the case was disposed of in 2013 with the conviction of all accused, including two former Bihar chief ministers — Jagannath Mishra and Lalu Prasad.
The then JD(U) parliamentarian, Jagdish Sharma, was also convicted. The conviction got Prasad and Sharma disqualified from Parliament. Three IAS officers — Beck Julius, Mahesh Prasad and Phool Chand Singh — were also convicted in the case.
Chakraborty, who was an accused in the said case, didn’t face the trial after April 12, 2012, when the Jharkhand high court had discharged him from the case.
Aggrieved by this, the CBI had challenged the high court’s order in the Supreme Court.
The apex court on May 8 this year had quashed the high court’s order reinstating the charges against Chakraborty.
Following the Supreme Court’s order, the special CBI court has reopened the case, summoning Chakraborty to face the trial.
The court of special judge Shambhu Lal Shaw on November 8 concluded the trial proceedings initiated against Chakraborty and fixed November 14 to pronounce the judgment.
A 1980 batch IAS officer, Chakraborty was charged with abusing his official position as Chaibasa deputy commissioner (DC) and conspiring with the co-accused to facilitate the illegal withdrawal of ₹37.7 crore from the Chaibasa treasury.
As Chaibasa DC, Chakraborty had never made an inspection of the treasury once in every six months and did not exercise control to stop the misappropriation. In return of his services, he had received undue pecuniary benefits of a laptop and two printers from the officials and suppliers of the animal husbandry department.
Former Jharkhand chief secretary Sajal Chakraborty