Patiala: A special CBI court on Saturday awarded seven-year imprisonment to SAD leader and 21 others, including three FCI officials in a fraud case. The Special Judge Hemant Gopal held a former SAD MLA Mangat Rai Bansal and others guilty of making wrongful gains by supplying sub standard rice, resulting in loss to the Food Corporation of India to the tune of Rs 1.8 crore.
The CBI had filed the chargesheet against total 28 people including three FCI officials and 25 rice millers (including Bansal) in 2001 and booked all the accused under sections 120 (B), 420 IPC and sections 13(1), 13(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act. Two accused have died in due course of time while two were acquitted and two were awarded two years imprisonment.
Three FCI officials, MS Tomar, PN Aggarwal and JR Monga, working as quality control assistant had passed the substandard rice from millers. They were dismissed by the FCI, after registration of FIR against them. The case against Bansal and others was lodged in 1998, when in a raid conducted by Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Department, the officials found "substandard" rice being supplied to FCI by few millers of Bareta in Mansa district.
A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in Punjab and Haryana High Court by a Bareta farmer, demanding a CBI enquiry into the embezzlement done by a section of millers, which the High Court admitted and ordered CBI enquiry on September 23, 1999.