No probe into multi-crore scam: HC

Breather for CM Nitish Kumar

Hearing the petition, a division bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Rekha M Doshit and Justice SK Katriyar deferred the ruling till further orders, but stayed its earlier order in which the CBI director and the joint director were asked to remain present in the court on July 26, the day scheduled for the next hearing.

Arguing on behalf of the government, senior Supreme Court lawyer L Nageshwar Rao said “the report of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) is under the consideration of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and is yet to be adopted by the House. It will be totally opposed to the scheme of the Constitution itself to permit any kind of discussion even by way of inquiry by any third party agency until the report of the PAC is submitted to the House and the House has considered and taken a final view on the report.

“It is not permissible under law for any other inquiry or investigation when the CAG report is under consideration of the PAC.”

Earlier, Advocate General P K Sahi told the court that detailed contingent (DC) bills worth Rs 4,000 crore against the pending Rs 11,412 crore had already been submitted to the Accountant General. Any observation calling for a CBI probe into the matter and tentative order for an inquiry at this juncture was unwarranted.

After the hearing was over, the High Court reserved its judgment till further orders but stayed its earlier order in which it had asked the CBI director to be present in the court on July 26.

Meanwhile, the Bihar Vidhan Sabha was adjourned sine die after a five day-session. Before going to Assembly polls in October, the last session saw unprecedented ruckus.

Chronology of events

* July 15: Patna High Court orders CBI probe into ‘fraudulent withdrawal’ of Rs 11,412 crore from the State exchequer, in which Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi were named accused.

* July 19: An interlocutory application is filed by Chief Secretary Anup Mukherjee in the High Court in which he seeks a stay on the HC’s July 15 order for a CBI probe in to the fraudulent withdrawal.

* July 20: Twelve legislators sustain injuries when ruling party MLAs clash with the Opposition members in the Assembly over CBI probe.

* July 21: Bihar Assembly stoops to a new low as a slipper is flung at the Speaker. Besides, a Congress legislator Jyoti Kumari goes berserk and smashes flower pots on the Vidhan Sabha premises.

* July 22: Opposition submits a memorandum to Governor Devanand Konwar for dismissal of Nitish government

* July 23: HC reserves order on Government’s review petition.

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