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HC dismisses C'garh govt plea against CBI probe into SRC fund

Press Trust of India  |  Bilaspur 

The Chhattisgarh High Court has dismissed the state government's petition seeking to review its earlier order directing Central Bureau of Investigation to file an FIR and probe a Rs 1000-crore scam in the funds meant for disabled over a period of 10 years in the state.

The HC on January 30 this year had directed CBI to register FIR in connection with the alleged scam.

The HC's order came on a PIL filed by Kundan Singh Thakur, through his counsel Devershi Thakur, in 2018 alleging large scale misappropriation of funds at the State Resource Centre (SRC) functioning under the state's Social Welfare department.

The petitioner had made 12 serving and retired IAS officers, including two former chief secretaries, as respondents.

Subsequently, the Bhupesh Baghel government in the state had moved HC seeking review of the order.

The division bench of Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and Justice Parth Prateem Sahu, after hearing the review petition on February 7, had reserved its order, which was uploaded on the high court website on Tuesday.

"We have passed the order under review on satisfaction that the matter needs to be investigated by an independent agency. In fact, we have referred the matter to the CBI for the reason that the State Resource Centre (SRC) was manned by officers at the level of chief secretary and despite direction by the PIL court the matter was not property examined and effective action was taken by the state authorities," the order stated.

The HC said, based on the allegations in the PIL and the report submitted by the chief secretary in October last year, it found prima facie substance in allegations concerning misappropriation and siphoning of public funds.

Since after issuance of show cause notices to four officers, the state did nothing to unearth the financial irregularity, the court deemed it appropriate to handover the matter to the CBI for registration of FIR and investigation, the order said.

During the hearing on the review petition, Advocate General Satish Chandra Verma and Deputy Advocate General Mateen Siddiqui had submitted that the writ petitioner had concealed material facts before the court.

The advocate general also submitted that direction for CBI inquiry was completely unwarranted because the petitioner did not approach the police for registration of FIR nor was there was allegation of institutional bias on the part of any state level investigating agency.

The CBI last week registered FIR against unidentified officials.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 11 2020. 21:56 IST