Former judge, others to be tried for Delhi’s land scam

May 24th, 2008 - 9:54 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) A city court Saturday ordered the trial of a former Delhi High Court judge and four others, including a former top Delhi Development Authority (DDA) official, for their role in irregularaties in the allocation of flats and plots in the national capital. Additional Sessions Judge Indermeet Kaur Kochar ordered the trial of former high court judge Shameet Mukherjee and former DDA vice-chairman Subhash Sharma after finding them prima facie guilty of misusing their official positions.

The accused had pleaded “not guilty” to the charges of misusing their official positions and hatching conspiracy for making pecuniary gains through irregular allotment of the DDA plots and flats.

The judge also ordered the trial of the former DDA official’s personal secretary Ashok Kapoor, sacked Delhi Police constable Vinod Khatri, and middleman Dharamveer Khattar for conspiring to commit criminal and corrupt deeds.

The court ordered trial of the five after framing charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act and Indian Penal Code (IPC) against them.

The charges against the five deal with irregular allotment of two DDA flats on the Aruna Asaf Ali Marg and illegal possession of a plot of land at Shalimar Bagh on which a school building was constructed.

The former judge is in the dock for allegedly giving rulings favouring Khatri who had allegedly encroached upon the DDA land and was involved in a legal battle with the capital’s land management agency.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in its charge-sheet filed in April 2005, had shortlisted around 100 calls of Mukherjee and other accused to support its allegations that they abused their official position to extend benefits to other co-accused.

The CBI unearthed the scam in 2003, leading to registration of four corruption cases against them.

During arguments over the framing of charges, all the accused claimed they were implicated in the case. They also sought discharge before commencement of trial.

Opposing their plea, CBI counsel told the court that the agency had submitted 19 CDs that contained alleged conversations between the accused pertaining to the land deal.

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