4 sentenced to 3-yr jail for running unauthorised STD booth in 1993
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Four persons, including two former MTNL employees, were handed a three-year prison sentence and a fine of Rs 90,000 each for illegally tampering with telephone lines to run an illegal STD/ISD booth, 19 years after an FIR was registered in the matter.
MTNL employees Ashok Kumar Singh and Ashok Rai, and their accomplices Neeraj Narang and Mohd Irfan were held guilty of cheating, criminal conspiracy and violation of provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act by Special Judge N K Sharma. The court noted that they had caused a loss of over Rs 7 lakh to the exchequer.
The CBI had registered a case against the four in March 1993 on a complaint by MTNL Vigilance Officer R K Saini. The complaint said an unauthorised STD/ISD/PCO booth was being run at Daya Nagar.
A CBI raid at the premises found that Narang and Irfan were running an STD/ISD booth from the residence of R K Gera. STD facility was provided at Rs 20 per minute by diverting calls from a number registered elsewhere. The calls were found to have been diverted by tampering with the phone lines from the Nehru Place Telephone Exchange.
The CBI investigation found that from March 1 to March 26, 1993, a total of 6,87,472 calls worth Rs 7,56,037 were made from this unauthorised STD booth. Explaining the involvement of the four accused in the crime, CBI had said Narang used to provide the instruments, while the two MTNL employees were responsible for diverting the lines.
The spoils of the racket were divided among the four convicts. Gera was granted pardon by a court in 1995 after he agreed to turn approver.
Narang, Singh and Rai were granted bail on a personal bail bond of Rs 30,000 till January 4, 2013, so as allow them to file an appeal. Mohd Irfan has been given time to seek bail.
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