Court allows Arun Nehru to skip graft trial

Court allows Arun Nehru to skip graft trial

The Delhi High Court Wednesday granted exemption to former minister of state for internal security Arun Nehru from personal appearance in a 1988 graft case related to a pistol purchase deal for the police forces.

Justice Pratibha Rani, who heard Nehru's plea, said: "Personal appearance of the petitioner is exempted before the trial court, but appear through counsel on moving appropriate application to this effect before the trial court."

The court also issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for Nov 21 on Nehru's petition challenging the trial court order that rejected the probe agency's closure report filed in July 2007.

Nehru moved the high court seeking quashing of the trial court order dated Aug 7 that rejected the closure report of the CBI and initiated fresh proceedings against him.

Nehru, who has been in political exile for nearly two decades, is alleged to have abused his position and entered into a criminal conspiracy with two associates to cause a loss of Rs.25 lakh ($45,000) to the exchequer in a pistol deal with a firm in erstwhile Czechoslovakia.

Sandeep Kapur, appearing for Nehru, told the court that the CBI had failed to obtain the requisite sanction against his client and the cognizance taken by the trial court was bad in law.

"On account of this grave lacuna in the prosecution case, the cognizance itself was bad in law as the very cognizance could not be taken without valid sanction," he said.