Former bureaucrat Runu Ghosh to be sentenced Friday

NEW DELHI - The quantum of punishment for Runu Ghosh, former deputy director general in the telecom ministry who has been convicted for corruption, will be pronounced Friday, a city court said Wednesday.

The court reserved the order for Friday after hearing arguments on the quantum of sentence in which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had demanded stringent punishment for her.

Ghosh, a former Indian Audit and Accounts Service officer, was Tuesday held guilty by the court of amassing disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs.2.27 million and can face imprisonment up to seven years.

According to the prosecution, she acquired the wealth between 1992 and 1996 while working as deputy director general (licence and finance) in the Telecom Department during the tenure of then telecommunications minister Sukhram.

‘She was a highly-placed bureaucrat of the country and was expected to maintain the dignity of the office. But she abused her official position to acquire disproportionate assets,’ the CBI counsel submitted in court, demanding maximum punishment for Ghosh.

Advocate Satish Tamta, appearing for Ghosh, filed a written submission in which he pleaded that the court take a lenient view as she had already faced 12 years of trial and has been out of a job since 2003.

Tamta also submitted that the court should consider her medical condition while deciding the punishment as she is a heart patient and suffers from hyper-tension.

Ghosh’s conviction for amassing illegal wealth comes two months after Sukhram was held guilty for acquiring disproportionate assets worth Rs.24.5 million in cash and was sentenced to three years in prison.

In a separate case, Ghosh, along with Sukhram and Ramarao, managing director of the Hyderabad-based firm Advance Radio Masts (ARM) Ltd, had been convicted by a Delhi court in July 2002 for causing over Rs.16.8 million loss to the state exchequer by awarding a contract to the firm.

Her appeal against a two-year jail term is pending before the Delhi High Court.


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