Kathmandu, Feb 21: Nepal's Indian-origin Minister for Information and Communications J P Gupta was today jailed for one-and-a-half years and fined Rs 8.4 million by the Supreme Court for amassing property worth Rs 20.8 million through illegal means.
A division bench of Justices Shusila Karki and Tarka Raj Bhatta handed down the jail term to Gupta, who is the President of Madhesi Peoples' Right Forum (Republican), after he was found guilty of involvement in corruption, according to court officials.
The minister was convicted on charges of amassing property worth Rs 20.8 million through illegal means while he was at the helm of various ministries in the past. Shortly after he was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment and fined Rs 8.4 million, Gupta surrendered before the court. He has been sent to Dillibazaar jail.
Following his conviction, Gupta's ministerial berth and membership of Parliament have automatically been terminated.
The Commission for Investigation on Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had filed a case against Gupta at a Special Court in March 2003, accusing him of accumulating property by abusing powers.
However, the Special Court had acquitted Gupta in June 2007, citing insufficient evidence to prove him guilty of corruption.
As per rules, Gupta's sentence and penalty will be reduced by 20 per cent as he voluntarily surrendered immediately.