The Jharkhand government has suspended transport secretary Sajjal Chakravarty after a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Ranchi, sentenced him to four years' rigorous imprisonment after he was convicted in the multi-million rupee fodder scam.
A notification regarding Chakravarty's suspension was issued on Friday evening. Amrendra Pratap Singh has been given charge of the transport department now.
The sentence against Chakravarty was delayed as he was admitted to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) in Ranchi after he complained of chest pain. He was brought to the court on a stretcher and was lying down while special CBI judge BK Sahay pronounced the sentence on Friday.
The special CBI court on July 14 had convicted 64 people, including Chakravarty, in a related to the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 390 million from the Chaibasa treasury in 1993-1994.
Chakravarty was deputy commissioner of Chaibasa district at that time. Out of 76 accused in the case, five died during trial, four turned approver, two accepted their crime, and one is absconding.
Currently admitted to RIMS, Chakravarty is likely to move the high court against his conviction.
In the past, he was in jail for 580 days in connection with the scame.
The CBI court has already pronounced sentences against 63 accused in the case. Some of those convicted have been jailed for three to seven years, while the maximum fine imposed has been Rs 15 million.
A total of 63 cases were lodged by the CBI in conection with the fodder scam. As many as 53 of them were transferred to Jharkhand after the state was carved out from Bihar in November 2000.
Till now special CBI courts have pronounced judgements in 27 cases, convicting 230 people.
Minister for Railways Lalu Prasad is an accused in five of the fodder scam cases which are being tried in various special CBI courts in Ranchi.