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Kalpnath Rai jailed for 10 years

Kalpnath Rai Former Union minister Kalpnath Rai, MP, was sentenced to 10 years in prison with a fine of Rs 1 million by the designated Terrorist And Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act court in Delhi on Monday.

He was convicted for the crime of harbouring members of the Dawood Ibrahim gang. Nine others were also sentenced to varying jail terms in the same case.

Additional Sessions Judge S N Dhingra, however, acquitted former Bharatiya Janata Party MP Brij Bhushan Saran Singh for lack of evidence.

Rai was immediately taken into custody and sent to the capital's Tihar Jail on the judge's direction.

He was arrested in the court room itself by the Delhi police and handed over to the jail authorities.

Others who were convicted included Rai's private secretary S P Rai, two officials of the erstwhile East West Airlines -- Sabu Chacko and Pir Mohammed -- and six members of the Dawood gang -- Subhash Singh Thakur, Jayendra 'Bhai' Thakur, Shyam Kishore Garikapatti, Mohammed Ahmed Mansoor, Chandrakant Anna Patil and Paresh Mohan Desai.

The judge pronounced the jail sentence for Kalpnath Rai, Subhash Singh Thakur, Jayendra Thakur, Shyam Garikapatti, Chandrakanta Patil and Paresh Desai -- and will hear the arguments on sentencing the other four -- S P Rai, Mohammed Ahmed Mansoor and the two former airline employees -- on March 19.

Judge Dhingra sentenced three members of the Dawood Ibrahim gang, who fled to Delhi after a shootout at Bombay's JJ Hospital in September 1992, to life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1 million each.

The three -- Subhash Singh Thakur, Jayendra Thakur and Shyam Garikapatti -- were ordered to undergo a further imprisonment of two years if they failed to pay up the fine.

The three were also convicted under one more section of TADA and sentenced to five years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000 each.

They were also convicted under the Arms Act and sentenced to three years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000 each.

In case of default on the fine, the three would serve an additional six months, Judge Dhingra ruled.

The court sentenced Chandrakanta Patil -- a hitman for the gang -- to six years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 500,000.

As for Paresh Desai, Judge Dhingra said he had already served the sentence as an undertrial in judicial custody. However, the court imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on Desai and said that in case of non-payment, he would serve a sentence of three months in custody.

According to the CBI chargesheet, Kalpnath Rai, the then federal power minister, had through his assistant S P Rai arranged accommodation for Subhash Thakur and V N Rai (Rai's nephew) at the guest houses of the National Thermal Power Corporation in Delhi and Bombay Suburban Electricity Supply at Bombay around the time of the shootout at the JJ Hospital.

Six of Dawood's hitmen, all of whom were convicted, were involved in the shootout. Five of them were arrested by the Delhi police in July 1993; Mohammad Ahmed Mansoor was arrested later.

The bills for the NTPC rooms were paid by the corporation itself. These rooms were booked for the period June 22 to October 3, 1992.

The TADA court had framed charges against Kalpnath Rai and Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on May 24, 1996, for harbouring the gangsters.

Rai, who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on February 12, 1996, was released on bail following orders of the Supreme Court on May 6, 1996.

Earlier Stories:
Kalpnath Rai: The minister who shot his mouth off and in his foot
Kalpnath Rai denies Dawood connection, says charges are politically motivated
Kalpnath Rai arrested; BJP MP surrenders
Kalpnath Rai's custody extended till March 19
Angry with Rao, Kalpnath Rai threatens to commit suicide
Kalpnath Rai's bail plea rejected by court
Rai spits fire and brimstone at Rao
Kalpnath Rai continues his campaign against Narasimha Rao
'I will expose Narasimha Rao:' Kalpnath Rai
Kalpnath Rai quits Congress

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