SC refuses to quash SIT probe against Bhujbal

SC refuses to quash SIT probe against Bhujbal

SC refuses to quash SIT probe against Bhujbal

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to quash a special investigation team (SIT) probe ordered into corruption allegations against former Maharashtra PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal and others in connection with contracts awarded to private firms.

A bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice A K Sikri declined to entertain the petition filed by Iram T Shaikh against the December 18 order of the Bombay High Court.

Senior advocate Abhishek M Singhvi, appearing for Shaikh, contended that the high court entertained a PIL filed “by a party” (AAP) which wanted to gain political mileage out of the judicial proceedings.

The petition filed by advocate Joseph Aristotle contended that the high court acted on the PIL and directed SIT probe despite the fact that the petitioner was a political party and has not filed any complaint under Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, thereby circumventing the procedure and in direct contradiction to the Supreme Court judgment.

The high court had ordered SIT probe into the allegations of money laundering against NCP leader and former minister Bhujbal, his son Pankaj and nephew Sameer in connection with certain contracts awarded to private firms. It had said that the SIT will conduct an “open inquiry” into the allegations and set February 28 as deadline.

AAP, in its petition, had alleged that as PWD minister in the previous Congress-NCP government, Bhujbal had awarded contracts to certain private firms for which kickbacks were paid to his institute, Mumbai Education Trust.

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