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A special court has dismissed a criminal complaint against a BJP councillor and six public servants seeking their prosecution for allegedly cheating MCD of Rs 4 crore in a pension scheme for elderly, destitute and widows. The court rejected a man's plea seeking lodging of an FIR against 51 persons, including Pawan Singh Rathee, Councillor from Madhu Vihar in southwest Delhi, and six government officials, due to lack of a valid sanction to prosecute public servants. "... In complaint case filed against a public servant when there was no previous sanction the magistrate cannot order investigation by invoking section 156(3) of the CrPC.
Thus the contention of counsel for complainant that at the stage of exercise of power under section 156(3) of the CrPC, sanction was not required is without merit. Once there is no previous sanction a magistrate cannot order investigation by invoking power under section 156(3) of the CrPC. "Thus, if the law requires sanction for proceedings against public servant, the court cannot entertain a complaint against the public servants without a valid sanction for their prosecution," Special Judge Poonam Chaudhry said. The complaint was filed by Uttam Nagar-resident Chetan Prakash against Rathee, Joint Commissioner of Anti Corruption Branch, Deputy Commissioner of MCD of Najafgarh Zone, and four other officials of MCD. The complainant alleged that around 700 pension holders who were getting benefit of pension/stipend under the 'Old Age Destitute' scheme were not entitled to it. It alleged that Rathee and MCD officers in connivance with some pension holders fabricated documents certifying that they were entitled to get pension under the 'Old Age/Destitute Pension Scheme' and the councillor by indulging in corrupt practices has caused wrongful loss of Rs 4 crore to MCD. The plea further said that the destitute persons, who should actually be entitled to the benefit under the scheme, were struggling for their livelihood whereas unscrupulous persons were reaping the benefit. It alleged that Rathee, who was the Chairman of Najafgarh Zone from 2014 to 2015, was taking half of the pension amount from the pensioners every month. The plea claimed that it had given the complaint before to the deputy commissioner, Najafgarh Zone, South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), but no action was taken. The court dismissed the plea saying allegations against the seven public servants are for offences of forgery, using forged documents as genuine, cheating and criminal conspiracy under the IPC and under the Prevention of Corruption Act and "sanction to prosecute them is mandatory for proceeding against them".
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