A sessions court in Maharashtra’s Dhule district sentenced former state ministers Suresh Jain and Gulabrao Deokar along with 46 others to varying jail terms between three and seven years after convicting them in the multi-crore ”Gharkul” housing scam.
Special Judge Srushti Neelkanth sentenced Suresh Jain to seven years in jail and imposed a fine of Rs 100 crore on him. Gulabrao Deokar was given a five-year sentence, while the remaining 46 convicts got jail terms between three and seven years.
Apart from Suresh Jain and Gulabrao Deokar, the accused include some former municipal councillors and officials. Soon after the court pronounced its verdict, all 48 convicts, who were present in the court, were taken into custody.
Suresh Jain, a Shiv Sena leader, was arrested in March 2012 for a Rs 29-crore housing project scam when he was state minister of home in the 1990s. He spent over a year in jail before securing bail from the Supreme Court.
NCP leader Gulabrao Deokar was arrested in May 2012. He spent three years in jail before securing bail. He was a councillor in the Jalgaon Municipal Council between 1995 and 2000. They were accused of favouring a builder and indulging in irregularities to the tune of Rs 29 crore.
Suresh Jain had favoured Khandesh Builders, which was given a contract to build tenements under the Gharkul scheme. Former municipal commissioner of Jalgaon, Pravin Gedam, had registered a complaint in this regard in February 2006. Of the 5,000 houses that were to be developed on the outskirts of Jalgaon, only 1,500 were completed.