Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Apex court relief to prime accused

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Rs 62-lakh NEHU fraud case of 1988

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: One of the main accused in the Rs 62-lakh fraud case in the North Eastern Hills University (NEHU) dating back to 1988, TS Bareh has been granted relief by the apex court on Friday.

The apex court turned the tables on CBI’s attempt to implicate Bareh in the Rs 62-lakh fraud in the NEHU, by setting aside the judgment and order of conviction dated November 28, 2010 passed in Criminal Appeal No. 2 (SH) 2000, only against TS Bareh by setting him free and remanded the matter back to the Gauhati High Court for hearing afresh.

Earlier, B Giri, Special Judge at the CBI court, had ruled that TS Bareh, one of the 60 contractors stood convicted under section 5(2) and 120 B 420 of IPC. Bareh was declared an absconder and levied a fine of Rs one lakh, besides, sentencing WMR Wahlang, the then Assistant Finance Officer of NEHU, and ES Lyngdoh, the other contractor to five-years’ rigorous imprisonment.

According to his counsel Kaustav Paul, the Supreme Court, while accepting the plea of TS Bareh, said that the judgment of the High Court had been passed without hearing him and rejected the contention of the CBI that certain lawyers had appeared on his behalf before the High Court, exercising their extraordinary powers under Article 136 of the Constitution of India

Paul further stated the Supreme Court granted relief to TS Bareh as this was an exceptional case where a man had been condemned unheard and also granted leave to Bareh in spite of the fact that he had been declared an absconder by the Sessions Judge at Shillong.

The five accused in the case were DP Sharma, the then Executive Engineer (Civil) NEHU, who expired recently, late Stanley Roy, the Finance Officer, and late WMR Wahlang who was the then Assistant Finance Officer, ES Lyngdoh and TS Bareh, the two contractors.

“There were 58 other suppliers at that time including the Government of India owned National Building Construction Company (NBCC) but how is that that the prosecution could be against only selective few,” his counsel questioned.

Speaking to The Shillong Times on Friday, TS Bareh said the entire supply by him to NEHU was less than 3 per cent of the total amount involved and the list of suppliers reads like the who’s who of Shillong.

Bareh questioned why the prosecution was being selective and prejudiced?

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