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Narasimha Rao cleared in cheating case

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | December 22, 2003 14:03 IST
Last Updated: December 22, 2003 15:33 IST

Former prime minister Narasimha Rao, godman Chandraswami and his associate K N Agarwal alias Mamaji were on Monday morning acquitted in the Lakhubhai Pathak cheating case.

Announcing his verdict in a courtroom set up at the high-security Vigyan Bhavan annexe in New Delhi Justice D Dayal said, "I find that Lakhubhai Pathak's evidence is not reliable and it has not been corroborated. His evidence has been
constantly changing and there has been contradictions on vital aspects of the case."

Also Read: The pickle that proved too spicy

"The inordinate delay in filing the case has not been explained by the prosecution," the judge said while acquitting the trio.

After the judgment Rao said, "I have been waiting for this moment for the last eight years.

"I had faith in the judiciary..."

Rao said he felt as if he had been born again.

His consul Kapil Sibal told rediff.com, "Justice has been done to the former prime minister, who has been a victim of conspiracy in a number of cases like the St Kitts forgery case, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha case and the Lakhubhai Pathak case.

"In all cases he has come out victorious."

Based in London, Pathak had a flourishing business in pickles. He was also interested in supplying newsprint and paper pulp to India.

Pathak, who died a few years ago, had alleged that he had given $100,000 to Chandraswami, to be passed on to Rao, in return for contracts in India, which never materialised.

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