Court quashes favouritism case against former NDA minister (Superseding earlier story)April 8th, 2009 - 9:15 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday quashed a criminal case against former union health minister in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government C.P. Thakur for allegedly misusing office and favouring a commercial unit whose lease of shop had lapsed in 1977.
Thakur, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, was accused of irregularities in allotment of commercial units within the premises of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh.
Justice M.C. Garg granted relief to the former minister by setting aside the trial court order in July last year that took cognisance of the offence under Prevention of Corruption Act.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered a first information report (FIR) against Thakur in Aug 2004 on the charge that he indulged in favouritism in the allotment of a shop in the PGIMER, Chandigarh.
Thakur, then union minister for health and family welfare in his capacity as ex-officio president of PGIMER, had misused his official position to get a shop allotted to Captain Parminder Singh, the agency alleged in the FIR.
The CBI had lodged a preliminary inquiry against Thakur and Capt. Singh in this case on Oct 1, 2002.
According to the probe agency, Singh was granted lease of the shop in 1970 on a monthly rent of Rs.360. The lease expired in December 1977, but Singh continued to occupy the shop illegally till January 2001, when he was finally evicted.
Last year in July, a CBI court issued summons to Thakur after taking cognisance of favouritism charges.
“Sufficient ground exists to proceed against the accused persons. Consequently, it is ordered that the documents relied upon by the CBI along with a list of witnesses and addresses of the accused be filed within a week,” said Additional Sessions Judge R.K. Yadav in July last year.
The court’s direction came after the investigating officer (IO) of the CBI, Inspector S.S. Yadav, filed a closure report. He claimed that the probe could not proceed in the case as the central government had not accorded the sanction required to prosecute the former minister.
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