Senior RJD Leader Ilyas Hussain Gets Four Years in Bitumen Scam

RJD leader Ilyas Hussain (file photo).

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Patna: Senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and former Road Construction Minister Ilyas Hussain, along with two others, was awarded five years in jail by a CBI court on Thursday in the so-called Bitumen scam that occurred nearly 26 years ago between 1992-93.

Special judge A K Mishra, after hearing closing arguments from both prosecution and defendant, gave four years of imprisonment each to Hussain, his personal assistant Shahabuddin Baig, and Janardan Prasad, a well-known transporter of the time, under Criminal Penal Code 407, 420, and 13 (2)R-13 of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act.

The court also fined Rs. 4 lakh each to Hussain and his former PA and Rs. 6 lakh to Janardan Prasad.

All three were present in the court when the judge announced the quantum of their punishment after which they were transported to the Beur Jail in Patna.

The case relates to picking up of a consignment involving 1500-metric ton of bitumen, or asphalt, from the Indian Oil Corporation refinery in Haldia that was to be used in road construction in Bihar.

However, only 1125-metric ton of bitumen actually reached its destination while the remaining 375-metric ton was allegedly sold to private contractors with the money going into Hussain and his cronies' pockets.

Initially, six people were named in the case but three of them reached a plea deal and became government witnesses in the case leading to the conviction of the RJD leader, his PA, and the transporter.

Senior Patna High Court lawyer Y V Giri said that with Hussain now a convicted criminal and a jail bird, he will be barred from running for any public office in future.

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