A court in Orissa sentenced three policemen, including a senior officer, to one year rigorous imprisonment each for misappropriating funds meant to buy radio signal equipment for the Chandipur missile test range, an official said on Saturday.
Additional Judicial Magistrate (Special) at Cuttack, Suresh Kumar Patnaik, passed the jail sentence on former superintendent of police (Signal) Tapan Kumar Behera, accountant Bhaskar Chandra Diabagh and head clerk Kailash Chandra Mohanty, after they failed to justify how they had utilised Rs 36,000 of government money.
Behera, of the state police service cadre, is superintendent of police (Computer) in the state crime records bureau in Bhubaneswar. He had received in 1989-1990 from then district collector of Balasore Rs 47,430 to purchase radio signal equipments for the Integrated Test Range of Chandipur in Balasore, according to public prosecutor Hemanta Kumar Jena.
The money was also supposed to be spent to alert people to vacate villages near the test range during missile testing, Jena said.
But Behera failed to provide a certificate to show how the money was spent despite repeated requests from the district administration, which had given the money in two bank drafts.
The Balasore additional district magistrate had filed a case with the local police station in 1992 seeking a probe into the whereabouts of the money.
Police had filed a charge sheet against four people including Behera. The case against one official was dropped when he died in 1995.
The court on Friday also imposed a fine of Rs 3,000 each, the non payment of which would invoke a rigorous imprisonment of three months, the lawyer said.