FIJI ROAD OFFICIAL GETS SIX-MONTH JAIL TERM

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By Aqela Lalakato

SUVA, Fiji (FijiSUN, Apr. 1) – National Road Safety Council chief executive Chandra Shekhar was sentenced to six months in jail yesterday by the Suva court for corrupt practices. 

Also sentenced to six months imprisonment was Shekhar’s business partner, Dinesh Shankar.

Defense counsel Mehboob Raza applied for bail pending appeal but Director of Public Prosecutions lawyer Bhupendra Solanki opposed the application.

Chief Magistrate David Balram rejected bail when the case was heard again in the afternoon and maintained the term of six months imprisonment. 

Mr Balram said the court would not approve bail for people after conviction. 

The accused and his counsel, however, have a pending appeal in the High Court. 

Shekhar is convicted of taking a commission of $2,000 on three occasions for jobs provided to Above Graphics Limited in 2001. 

The court heard the accused obtained a commission worth $1,000 on January 26, 2001, $500 on April 12 and $500 on April 27 the same year

Speaking outside court, a frustrated Shekhar maintained his innocence. 

"I still maintain my innocence. I’m out but I will be back to prove my innocence. I’ll get the perpetrators out there," he said. 

NRSC chairman Sefanaia Koroi said no one was above the law and the council would go by the court’s ruling. 

"As far as I am concerned, the council has come out clean on this matter and is clean," he said. 

Mr Koroi said the board would meet in two days to decide Shekhar’s future with the council. Shekhar was on a three-year contract with the council and his contract expires in July this year. 

April 1, 2004

FijiSUN: http://www.sun.com.fj/

 

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