A special CBI court on Wednesday sentenced an Assistant Commissioner at Employees Provident Fund Organization to three years jail in a disproportionate assets case and his wife to two years for abetting the offence.
Finding 50-year-old Rajnikant Mahto guilty, special CBI judge VV Katare said it is abundantly clear that the public servant has amassed assets in the name of his close relatives, that is, his wife and mother-in-law. His mother-in-law, who was also an accused in the case, passed away pending trial.
Regarding the wife Pammirani, 42, and mother-in-law Prabhadevi Muneshwar the court said that they have actively abetted Mahto by holding unexplained credits in their accounts.
Mahto’s mother-in-law was a permanent resident of Patna and had a flat in Mumbai from where during a search Rs. 9.90 lakh cash was seized. The court also said that she facilitated him to keep ill-gotten money in a bank locker held jointly by her and Mahto’s wife. From the locker Rs. 14 lakh was seized.
Judge Katare said regarding her owning a flat in the city, that there is no iota of evidence to substantiate the source of her funds to purchase the flat. It can be reasonably inferred, the court said, that she had no reason to invest in Mumbai and that it is evident that it is Mahto who had purchased the flat by abusing his official position.
Special Public Prosecutor Ashok Bagoria said the defence had claimed that the seized amount of Rs. 9 lakh from his mother-in-law’s flat was meant to be given as ransom to kidnappers who had kidnapped her son. The court remarked regarding this that the kidnapping had taken place 10 years before the seizure and it was a “namesake” defence.