Uttar Pradesh Minister Rakesh Sachan, who had allegedly fled a Kanpur court after being convicted in an Arms Act case, was sentenced to one year imprisonment with a fine of Rs 1,500 on Monday, reported the Hindustan Times. He, however, was granted bail on a bond of Rs 50,000.

Sachan was held guilty of possessing an illegal rifle on Saturday in a case filed against him on August 13, 1991. Soon after, he allegedly ran away from the courtroom with a copy of the order.

On Sunday, the Uttar Pradesh Police had launched a preliminary inquiry into the allegations about him fleeing, reported PTI. On Monday, he surrendered before the court.

Before the quantum of his punishment was announced, Sachan said he was appearing before the court despite not being given any notice.

“I am doing so because media painted me like an absconder, someone who took away the file [conviction order],” he said. “Whatever the court will decide I will abide by it.”

The police were looking into whether Sachan had disappeared from the courtroom without furnishing a bail bond in the case. Kanpur Police Commissioner BP Jogdand had said that Assistant Commissioner of Police (Kotwali) Ashok Kumar Singh would inquire into the allegations.

Court officials had filed a complaint in the matter, NDTV reported. “There is much that needs to be examined,” Joint Commissioner of Police AP Tiwari had said. “We have been trying to get in touch with all stakeholders. We are taking our enquiry forward. Once the enquiry is complete, we will proceed according to the law.”

The Samajwadi Party had alleged that Sachan was hiding at his home, but the police did not dare to take him into custody.

“If this had been an Opposition leader, then a bulldozer would have been used,” the party had said, referring to the instances in which civic authorities in the state had demolished the homes of persons accused in criminal cases.

Sachan, however, had claimed that the allegations against him were false and politically motivated, according to NDTV.

“I have never run away in my life,” he had said. “...I reached the court a little before 11 am and requested for the case to be expedited since I had other engagements. The lawyer said it would take time and I requested him to put in an exemption application. I then left.”

The minister had claimed he was at a function for four hours and subsequently attended some other engagements.

“Let the CCTV footage in the court be examined,” Sachan had said. “I will go to court tomorrow and present my side of the story through my lawyers.”