Ex-Janpad Panchayat CEO gets 4 years in jail for fraud

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A special court in Chhattisgarh's Raigarh district on Thursday awarded four years' rigorous jail term to a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a local Janpad Panchayat for embezzlement of government funds.

Special Judge (anti-corruption court) Geeta Neware convicted then CEO of Pusaur Janpad Panchayat G P Pandey and clerk Subhash Chand Barik for embezzlement of Rs 10.65 lakh in 2014, Additional Government Pleader (AGP) A K Shrivastav said.

Barik was awarded two years' jail term.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 1.60 lakh on Pandey and Rs 60,000 on Barik.

Another accused in the case, Shavet Kumar Yadav, who was working as a peon, was acquitted for lack of evidence.

Pandey and Barik embezzled Rs 10.65 lakh from the funds meant for pension of destitute persons in 77 village panchayats by generating fake bills of expenses, the AGP said.

Pandey submitted forged bills of expenses related to stationary, photocopies and tent, claiming that he had held camps in village panchayats to distribute pension to destitute persons, the prosecutor said.

Investigation revealed that neither any camp was held nor any items were purchased.

Based on the complaint of Ramesh Kumar Thawait, a local resident, the Economic Offences Wing registered a case under IPC sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servants), 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy), and relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Three more persons -- Sanjay Sahu, Shobhnath and Kartik Ram -- who are accused of providing fake bills to Pandey, are still absconding, Shrivastav said. 

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