3 to 7 years jail sentence for 21 accused in a Provident Fund fraud and cheating case
Bhopal: The Special Judge for CBI Cases in, Bhopal (Madhya Pardesh) has convicted 21 accused persons for causing loss to Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and sentenced Gajendra Singh Chouhan former LDC, Sub Regional Office, EPFO, Bhopal to undergo seven years rigorous imprisonment with total fine of Rs. 66 lakhs.
Also sentenced in this case are Pratap Singh, the then Section Supervisor, EPFO at Bhopal to undergo five years rigorous imprisonment with a total fine of Rs. 7.55 lakhs, C.T. Joseph, the then Section Supervisor, SRO, EPFO, Bhopal and D.K. Chandane, the then Assistant Accounts Officer, RO, EPFO, Bhopal – both to undergo five years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 2.30 lakhs each. Sachin Chouhan, the then Lab Technician, Community Health Centre at Gogava in Khargone district (MP) has been sentenced three years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 20,000. Besides, 16 private persons – Rajendra Singh Thakur, Manish Gaur, Ravi Khandane and Ms Rinku Sikarwar have been sentenced 3 years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 50,000 each. Twelve more accused – Ms Sharda Pawar, Kishore Singh, Bhagwan Singh Chandre, Bharat Rao, Yogesh Dube, Surendra Pawar, Rajesh Kumawat, Nirman Kumar Rathore, Ramesh Hyder, Sunil Chouhan, Vinod Chouhan, and Dushyant Sonawane will undergo 3 years rigorous imprisonment with a total fine of Rs. 20,000 each.
CBI had registered a case under section 120-B, 420, 467, 468, 471 & 477-A of IPC and Section 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 on May 31, 2006 on the basis of a complaint received from Employees Provident Fund Organization, Sub Regional Office, Bhopal against Pratap Singh, the then Section Supervisor, Gajendra Singh Chouhan, then LDC, and other unknown persons and officials of EPFO, SRO, Bhopal. It was alleged that Pratap Singh and Gajendra Singh had Chouhan, then LDC during the year 2001 to 2003 entered into a criminal conspiracy with unknown officials of EPFO and some private persons and fraudulently settled the 26 PF claims in the name of persons who were not the members of EPFO. The accused had committed the offence of forgery, cheating by using forged douments for final settlement/part payment and withdrawal of PF claims from 26 PF accounts leading to an alleged loss of Rs. 73,18,877 to EPFO.
After completion of investigation, a charge sheet was filed on December 31, 2007 in the Court of Special Judge for CBI Cases in Bhopal against 22 accused persons under section 120-B read with 419, 120-B read with 420, 467, 468, 471 and 477-A of Indan penal Code and Section 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
The Trial Court found 21 accused guilty and acquitted a private person.