A sessions court in Dhule district in Maharashtra on Saturday sentenced former state ministers Suresh Jain and Gulabrao Deokar along with 46 others to jail terms between three and seven years for their role in the multi-crore Gharkul housing scam, PTI reported. While Jain is a Shiv Sena leader, Deokar is from the National Congress Party.

Special Judge Srushti Neelkanth sentenced Jain to seven years in prison and fined him Rs 100 crore. Deokar was given five years in jail. Some municipal councillors and officials were also among those convicted.

Jain was first arrested in March 2012 for his role in the Rs 29-crore scam, which happened when he was state minister for home in the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena government in the 1990s. After spending over a year in jail, Jain secured bail from the Supreme Court.

Deokar was arrested in May 2012. He spent three years in prison before being granted bail. Deokar had been a councillor in the Jalgaon Municipal Corporation between 1995 and 2000.

Jain had favoured Khandesh Builders, which got the contract to build houses under the Gharkul scheme. Out of the 5,000 houses to be built on the outskirts of Jalgaon city, only 1,500 were completed. Former Jalgaon Municipal Commissioner Pravin Gedam first registered a complaint in the matter in 2006.

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