Free Press Journal

Graft case: Court asks CBI to verify death of two accused


New Delhi: A special court has asked CBI to verify whether two of the five persons it summoned as accused in a graft case in which ex-Union minister P K Thungon was awarded a four-and-a-half-year jail term have died. Special judge Ajay Kumar Jain had summoned five persons as accused on July 21 while convicting Thungon and three others in a cheating and corruption case lodged by CBI 17 years back. These five persons were scheduled to appear before the court yesterday and the judge was informed by the prosecutor that two of the five accused, Neilakuo Suokhrie and Khrienguozo Angami, were reported to have expired.

“Investigating officer is directed to verify the death of accused Neilakuo Suokhrie and Khrienguozo Angami and submit the death verification report of accused persons on next date of hearing,” the judge noted in his order. Meanwhile, the court was also informed that the Delhi High Court has stayed its order summoning two accused, K Konngam Konyak, the then minister of state in Nagaland for irrigation and flood control, and Mezakrol in the case.

During the hearing, the counsel for one of the accused, Bendang Wapang, appeared before the court and filed a plea seeking exemption from personal appearance for his client. The court allowed his plea for the day only.

The court has now fixed the matter for further hearing on March 8. All these five accused were not charge sheeted by CBI in the case, in which Thungon and three others were convicted and sentenced by the court, due to want of sanction to prosecute them and also on the ground that no prosecutable evidence was found against them.

However, while convicting Thungon and three others, the court had summoned these five persons as accused. 69-year-old Thungon and three others were sentenced for offences under sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy) read with 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of IPC and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The three other convicts were Tali AO, C Sangit and Mahesh Maheshwari.