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Ex-Speaker jailed in recruitment scam

In yet another landmark judgment, a lower court in Nalbari has jailed a former Assam Assembly Speaker along with two others in a nefarious teacher recruitment scam that rocked the district in 1998. Former Assam speaker Pulakesh Baruah was sentenced to two terms of rigorous imprisonment of two years each by a local court on Monday in a case of illegal appointment of teachers in Nalbari district 16 years ago.

The order was passed by Chief Judicial Magistrate of Nalbari, Dibyajyoti Mahanta who also fined Baruah Rs 20,000 in the case. However, it has not said by the court whether the two terms of imprisonment would run concurrently or separately.

The two terms of imprisonment were awarded under different sections relating to the case. Along with the former AGP MLA, two former inspectors of school of Nalbari -- Amulya Chaudhury and Satish Sarma -- have also been awarded the same sentences.

Three others -- Harmohan Bharali, Bhudev Goswami and Ramcharan Sarma -- employees of the office of Inspector of School, Nalbari have been awarded four months simple imprisonment each in the same case. Four candidates who were rejected had filed the case in 2006, alleging massive irregularities in the appointment of teachers in various high schools at Barkshetri in 1996. Baruah was the speaker during the Asom Gana Parishad regime of 1985-1990. During the AGP's second term in office between 1996-2001, he was an MLA.

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