Former Minister Thungon acquitted in bungalow allotment case

Former union minister P K Thungon has been acquitted by a special court here in a 21-year-old case relating to the allotment of government quarters. The court said the CBI failed to prove he had abused his official position.

Besides 71-year-old Thungon, the court also exonerated 14 others, including several government officials, while three accused died during the trial.

Special CBI Judge Kamini Lau held that the prosecution has not been able to prove that Thungon, then minister of State (MoS) for Urban Development in the Congress government led by P V Narasimha Rao, had directly entertained applications for out-of-turn allotment of government accommodation.

The court, in its 440-page judgement, said the CBI has also failed to prove that he had used genuine forged application forms wherein forgery relating to particulars of quarter, scale of pay and date of priority were made by conspirators.

During the trial, former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Thungon had claimed that he was innocent and had been falsely implicated, being a victim of political vendetta and that he had not violated any rules.

He further said that he was a senior citizen and have been forced to live in Delhi away from his native place Arunachal Pradesh for over 22 years due to this case.

The court said there was insufficient material to hold accused Thungon, Varinder Arora, T T Kumarasamay (personal staff of minister), Nima Tshering (ex-MLA of Arunachal Pradesh), Umesh Joshi, Vijaya Daksh, Ved Prakash Kaushik, Sunil Khosla, Roshan Lal Rana, Mahender Singh, Shiv Prasad, Vir Bhan, Chandan Singh Rana, Narender Dhyani and Raj Kumar Joshi guilty of the charges.

It said accused Ashok Kumar Gupta, Narender Kumar Sabharwal and Surati Lal Yadav died during the trial and the proceedings against them were abated.

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