At 98, ex-min summoned in court

Ninety-eight-year-old former Union minister Sheila Kaul, facing prosecution in a 1996 accommodation allotment scam, has been directed to appear before a Delhi court which refused to give her any further exemption, observing that the case has not moved an inch in 13 months.

Special CBI Judge Pradeep Chaddah directed that Kaul shall appear before it in
person on April 3 for framing of charges. “Orders were passed in the months of
February 2012 directing framing of charges. It has been 13 months and we have not moved an inch,” the court said.

The order of the court came after Kaul’s counsel pleaded for exemption to her from personal appearance in the court and informed it that the Delhi High Court had last month rejected her plea against framing of corruption charges against her.

The court also refused to grant exemption on the ground that Kaul has moved the Supreme Court against the order of the high court but her petition is yet to be listed for hearing.

“File to come up for framing of charge on April 3. Kaul and her then additional private secretary Rajan Lala and private assistant R K Sharma shall be appearing in person,” the court said.

Kaul, a Union urban development minister in P V Narasimha Rao’s cabinet, is accused of conspiring with Rajan Lala and R K Sharma for making out-of-turn allotments of government accommodations in return for monetary gains between 1992 and 1995.

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