A former state director of cultural affairs will have to spend three months in jail as he failed to explain the source of Rs 70,000 recovered from his house during a raid in 1996.
The special Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) court on Wednesday convicted Sudhir Meshram for forging papers to justify disproportionate assets.
The prosecution said the ACB had raided Meshram’s house and recovered Rs 70,000. Meshram told the raiding party that he had got the money as an advance to organise a cultural programme. Meshram had also manipulated the books of accounts and got a travel agent to issue fake bills, the prosecution said.
The police, besides booking him in a disproportionate assets case, also charged Meshram with forgery.
Meshram was acquitted in the disproportionate assets case in 2000, but the decision in the forgery case was pending. Special ACB judge, S.N. Sardesai, accepted the prosecution’s argument and convicted Meshram. Meshram was, later, granted bail. He can now appeal against his conviction.
The police said Meshram fudged a travel bill of Rs 1.75 lakh and reduced it to Rs 1.05 lakh, and showed the balance as advance received for the programme. The travel agent, who was a witness, said that the he had initially issued a receipt of Rs 1.75 lakh and later another one for a lesser amount on Meshram’s instructions.