Lawyer sentenced in marks scam case

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Nagpur, Feb 13 (UNI) A special court here has sentenced a practising lawyer to eight years and six months of rigorous imprisonment (RI) and two former employees of Nagpur University to 12 years and six months of RI, in a revaluation scandal of 1996.

The perpetrators of the crime including a lawyer Mahendra Kisan Gote, former assistant registrar of the university Yadavrao Kohachade, and Madhukar Smarth, who was the scrutiniser at the time of the scandal, were sentenced yesterday, but a clerk Dinkar Ingle has been acquitted due to lack of evidence.

The court has imposed a fine of Rs 42,000 on the lawyer and Rs 62,000 each on the two former employees. The sentences was announced by Special Judge A S Gattani, who is hearing other cases pertaining to the revaluation scam and fake mark lists and degrees scandal that rocked Nagpur University several years ago.

It has directed the university to cancel the degree and law granted to Gote and that the copies of the judgement should be sent to the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa for further action.

According to the prosecution, Gote used fraudulent means to get his marks increased in five subjects of bachelor of law examination of summer 1996, with accomplices Kohachade, Smarth and Ingle.

''The marks were increased by tampering with the tabulation register,'' Advocate R P Joshi said in the court during the hearing.

The court has found Gote guilty under sections 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). While, Kohachade and Smarth have also been found guilty under section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) in addition to sections 420, 468, 471 and 120B.

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