Senior PDP leader Mohammad Dilawar Mir has been sentenced to three years imprisonment by a Delhi court in a case related to wrongful release of Rs 30 lakh and contract for sale of urea to his firm by public sector National Fertilizers Limited in 1993-1996.
While Mir, who was a former Minister in Mufti Sayeed's cabinet, was awarded three years imprisonment and a whopping fine of Rs 3.21 crore, a special CBI court sentenced 77-year- old Dilbagh Singh Kanwar, the then General Manager of National fertilizers Ltd (NFL), to two-and-a half-year jail term.
67-year-old Mir, who is general secretary of PDP, was named by his party as a candidate for the upcoming polls from Rafiabad seat of North Kashmir. Though Mir got bail and his sentence has been suspended till January two, 2015, he will not be able to contest the forthcoming elections.
Mir was then the proprietor of M/s Good Friends Agencies which was wrongly awarded the contract for sale of urea, the court said. Special CBI Judge L K Gaur also imposed a fine of Rs 3.21 crore and Rs two lakh on Mir and Kanwar respectively. Out of Mir's fine amount, Rs 3.19 crore would be given National fertilizers Ltd (NFL) as compensation.
"In the light of the fact that the NFL suffered a loss in 1994 of Rs 30 lakhs at the hands of the convict Mohd. Dilawar Mir, in my opinion, it would be in the interest of justice that a suitable compensation be awarded to NFL for the said loss under the provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
"In my view awarding the compensation to the NFL of Rs 3.19 crore, which is roughly the same as principal plus 12 per cent compoundable interest per annum with quarterly rests for twenty years. This amount would be recoverable from the fine imposed by this order," the judge said.
The court, in its 267-page judgment, said the prosecution has successfully proved that convict Kanwar in conspiracy with Mir, had abused his position as a public servant while working as NFL's General Manager (Marketing), by awarding the contract to Mir's firm Good Friends Agencies, without having the powers to do so and flouting existing practices.
It said there was no necessity of awarding the contract and Kanwar also released Rs 30 lakhs as an advance payment despite it being clear that no services had been rendered under the contract by Mir. Kanwar and Mir were convicted for the offences of criminal conspiracy under the IPC and criminal conduct and abuse of position by public servant under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The court, however, allowed their bail plea and suspended their sentence till January two to enable them to file an appeal against their conviction and sentence. Both the convicts were released on bail till then on furnishing of a bond and surety.
As per CBI case registered in 1998, Kanwar had abused his position as public servant to favour Mir and as a result of a criminal conspiracy between the two, they had defrauded NFL, a Government owned Company, of Rs 30 lakhs and attempted to cheat NFL of over Rs 6.78 crore during 1993-96.
The agency said Kanwar had awarded a handling and general services contract to Mir's firm for sale of urea at exorbitant rate in Haryana and Punjab without inviting tenders. Kanwar in conspiracy with NFL officials Anil Kumar Sharma and M A Sarma had paid Rs 30 lakhs to Mir even though the firm had not fulfilled any contractual obligation. The accused knew that the firm had submitted false bills at the Zonal office, Chandigarh for claiming payments, it said.
Mir pleaded for leniency saying he has been a member of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and was also a minister in J&K government, having an impeccable public life. The court said this is what is expected from the persons in public life and holding high positions.
"Clean antecedents can become a reason for an ordinary person to be granted a lesser punishment, but in my opinion, the same standard, however, cannot be applied for the persons who have been ministers or being in public life. Therefore, the fact that the convict has a clean record by itself will not become an extenuating factor in his case," the judge said.
Seeking leniency in the sentence, Kanwar said he was an ex-army person and had retired from NFL in 1996 and it was his first conviction. He sought a lenient view submitting that the case was not registered on the basis of any complaint filed by NFL and it was lodged on some source information.
The judge, however said it does not matter how the case was ultimately registered.
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