Delhi court asks for Centre’s response on prosecution sanction refusal

New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) A special court here has asked the Centre to file its reply on refusal to grant sanction for the prosecution of the then NDMC chairman in the case of Shivaji Stadium’s upgradation during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Ajay Kumar Jain on Monday also issued summonses to nine accused, including two public servants and a foreign company.

Those issued summonses are the then New Delhi Municipal Council’s (NDMC) executive engineer Vinay Kumar Gulati, superintendent engineer Randhir Singh Thakur, China Railway Shisiju Group Corporation and its subletee company Simplex Project Limited and five individuals.

The five are Simplex Project’s CMD Balkishan Das Mundhra, Director Jai Kishan Bagri, Sudershan Das Mundhra and Raghav Das Mundhra, and Jiashu Zhao, a representative of China Railway Shisiju Group Corporation in India.

The court directed for their appearance on September 14 after taking cognisance of a charge sheet dealing with criminal conspiracy, cheating and under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The case relates to alleged illegalities in awarding works entailing expenditure of more than Rs.160 crore to ineligible foreign company for upgradation of the Shivaji Stadium for the CWG Games.

The upgradation work was awarded to China Railway Shisiju Group Corporation by NDMC officials by allegedly abusing their official positions in connivance and conspiracy with the private persons, the central agency claimed.

The agency said the then NDMC chairman Parimal Rai, heading the empowered committee at that time, knew about the company’s ineligibility but did not take steps to remove objections and facilitated the award of contract to China Railway Shisiju Group Corporation.

The court found prima facie material against Rai but observed that it cannot take cognisance as the central government had refused to grant sanction to prosecute him.

“…prima facie material for taking cognisance against Parimal Rai is found during investigation. Therefore, public interest as well as the interest of law demand that the allegations should be allowed to be examined by the court, particularly when the competent authority has not given any reasons for withholding the refusal to grant the sanction.”

The court said it has the jurisdiction to look into the present order of the competent authority to withhold the grant of sanction.

“In view of the above discussion, the competent authority is directed to disclose the reasons for the refusal to grant sanction from prosecution of Parimal Rai, the then chairman of NDMC, within three months of receiving this order. In case of failure to comply with this direction, the order for withholding the sanction is liable to be set aside,” the court said.

“It is also clarified that the competent authority should apply its mind independently over the relevant material and need not be influenced by observations in the present order.”

The court directed the CBI to submit the order copy to the central government or competent authority and file a report within seven days.



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