Court dismisses former UP Chief Secy's plea in DA case

Court dismisses former UP Chief Secy's plea in DA case

A Delhi court has dismissed former Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Akhand Pratap Singh's plea against a disproportionate assets case lodged by CBI after his retirement sans state government's sanction.

Special CBI Judge Dinesh Kumar Sharma rejected Singh's petition saying CBI had registered a case against him in 2005 after his retirement for allegedly amassing assets worth Rs 2.87 crore and it did not require consent of the state government.

A 1967 batch IAS officer, Singh had moved the court saying CBI could not register a case against him after his retirement in December 2003 even as the state government had in October 2003 denied sanction under the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act.

The court, however, noted that "it cannot be accepted that if once a consent has been refused by the government of UP then for all the time, the accused would be exonerated for all the complaints, of whatsoever character or he will acquire immunity for all the time to come."

The court also held that Singh cannot claim that CBI should have also taken sanction from the central government before his prosecution.

"Akhand Pratap Singh, in the present case, was an IAS officer allotted to the state cadre of UP and there is no material on the record even to assume that accused was in the central government at a senior position i.e. at the level of decision making and therefore, in absence of any such material, the accused cannot claim protection under section 6A of DSPE Act (prior approval of the central government)," it said.

While Singh was in service, the Centre had sent a communication dated September 17, 2003 to the UP government concerning complaints against him. In October 2003, the state declined consent under the DSPE Act.

Singh retired in December 2003 and in 2005, CBI filed a case on the basis of source information, and after probe filed a charge sheet for offences of cheating, forgery and also under Prevention of Corruption Act against Singh and others.

A CBI court in 2008 took cognisance of the same.

Singh filed a writ petition before the Delhi High Court but it was dismissed on the ground that after he ceased to be a public servant, no sanction was required.

The court, in its order, clarified that if on a given material, the government has refused sanction during the tenure of the employee, CBI cannot register the FIR and conduct investigation on the same material for the said offence after the superannuation of the public servant.

It, however, added that "the refusal of the state government in year 2003 was not a hurdle for the CBI for registering case against the accused in 2005, as there is nothing on the record to suggest that consent was refused by the state government on the set of facts/material which were directly and substantially the same on which the case was registered in 2005."

It also held that "CBI was not required to take fresh consent before the registration of the case in 2005 as by that time accused Akhand Pratap Singh superannuated and ceased to be a public servant."

Comments (+)