CBI today told a Delhi court that “approporiate sentence” should be awarded to former Union Minister P K Thungon and three others, who were convicted in a corruption case lodged in 1998 in connection with misappropriation of Rs two crore of central funds.
Advancing the arguments on quantum of sentence, the CBI prosecutor told the court that Thungon had held high office having been the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh and a Minister of State at the Centre, but he still committed the crime.
“An appropriate sentence should be awarded to Thungon while keeping in view his stature. The three other convicts helped him in the conspiracy, so appropriate sentence should be given to them,” the prosecutor told Special CBI JudgeAjay Kumar Jain.
The prosecutor also said that four other cases were still pending against Thungon.
Thungon’s counsel told the court that all the other cases pending against his client were arising out of a single FIR lodged by CBI in an alleged housing scam case and he was the only one to look after his ailing wife who is suffering from various serious ailments.
During the hearing, 68-year-old Thungon told the court that he was the first CM of Arunachal Pradesh because of his efforts to make it a Union territory and then a state.
“The Jawaharlal Nehru Open University was my brain child and the open schooling was also my idea which was implemented during the tenure of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
“The Panchayati Raj was enacted in Parliament because of my idea during the tenure of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and I have worked for national integration,” he said.
To this, the judge told Thungon, “I think you were in wrong company. You appear to be an honest man by your face and your talk.”
Responding to this, Thungon said, “I agree. I cannot ditch my friends and this is my weakness.”
The counsel appearing for the other three convicts also sought leniency on the ground that no other cases were pending against them.
The court after hearing the arguments on quantum of sentence, fixed the matter for pronouncing the order later today.
The court had on July 21, convicted Thungon, who was the then Minister of State Ministry, Urban Affairs and Employment, Tali AO, C Sangit and Mahesh Maheshwari in the case.