Senior Congress leader and former Maharashtra minister Sunil Kedar has been disqualified from the state legislative assembly following his conviction by a court for misappropriation of funds at the Nagpur District Central Cooperative Bank (NDCCB). A gazette order of the state legislature secretariat issued on Saturday said Kedar stands disqualified as MLA from the date of his conviction on December 22 under provisions of Article 19 (1) (e) of the Constitution of India and Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
Congress leader Sunil Kedar and five others get 5-years of the RI
The order said Kedar's constituency Saoner, located in Nagpur district, has become vacant from the date of his conviction. A magistrate's court in Nagpur on Friday sentenced Kedar and five others to five years' rigourous imprisonment for misappropriation of funds at the NDCCB. The case dates back to 2002.
Kedar, the five-time MLA, was convicted under Indian Penal Code Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating, 471 (whoever fraudulently or dishonestly uses as genuine any document which he knows or has reason to believe to be a forged document), 120(b) (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention). The six convicts were also fined Rs 10 lakh each.
NDCCB lost Rs 125 crore in government securities in 2002
As per the prosecution, the NDCCB lost Rs 125 crore in government securities in 2002 as rules were flouted while investing funds through Home Trade Private Limited. Kedar was then chairman of the bank. In her judgement, Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Pekhle-Purkar said Kedar and one other accused were entrusted with the entire stake of the bank, adding that the fund in question was hard earned money of the people and members of the bank, most of whom are poor farmers from Nagpur.
The court pointed out that the objective and purpose of the cooperative sector is to enhance the status of the economically marginalised sections of the society. The court said Kedar, who was chairman at the time, and then general manager Ashok Choudhary were entrusted to invest the funds in the manner prescribed by the law but they committed breach of trust.
Such criminal breach of trust is a serious offence, the judge said in her order. The loss of such a huge amount of money is sufficient enough to bring down the financial position of the bank, which in turn would affect thousands of members and staff of the entity, the court said. People holding high posts are vested with more responsibilities to ensure not even a single rupee of a member is wasted in any manner, the court order said.