Two former defence ministry officials and a retired army man were on Tuesday sentenced to four years in jail by a Delhi court for causing loss of over Rs 7.3 crore to the state exchequer by drawing payment for material which was never supplied.
Special CBI judge JPS Malik sentenced LtCol (Retd) PRS Rao, Deputy Director in the office of the Deputy Director General of Ordinance Services (inventory and budget), AK Sharma, the then assistant audit officer in the office of the director general of audit (Defence Services), and IB Uppal, who retired from Indian Army in 1991.
The trio was held guilty of having caused a loss of Rs 7,31,95,480 to the government.
The convicts were among 12 persons booked by the nCentral Bureau of Investigation in 1998 for causing wrongful loss to the government by clearing bogus bills against which no consignment was ever demanded or received, between 1994-97.
The nine other accused, among whom were senior auditors, accounts officers and clerks in the office of the Controller of Defence Accounts, were discharged from the case in 2005 by the court.
The court noted that Uppal had retired from the army in 1991 but did not surrender his identity card so that he could gain easy access to defence establishments.
He raised bogus bills by posing as the proprietor of certain firms such as M/s SriKrishna Enterprises, Rishi Enterprises, which were forwarded by Rao to the CDA section concerned for clearance.
Sharma, who was the assistant audit officer during 1994- 95, came to know about Rao's illegal doings, and accepted illegal gratification of over Rs 9 lakh from him for not exposing the same.
The court convicted Uppal for cheating and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code and also under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Rao, too, was convicted under similar provisions as Uppal. Sharma was convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act.