Graft accused must donate for Kerala relief

Graft accused must donate for Kerala relief

Judge Jagdeep Singh ruled that Rs 45,000 needs to be deposited to the Kerala CM's distress relief fund

A CBI court in Panchkula in Haryana has ordered three persons accused of corruption to deposit a sum of Rs 15,000 each for the relief work in flood-ravaged Kerala.

The total amount of Rs 45,000 needs to be deposited to the Kerala chief minister's distress relief fund, CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh has ruled.

The decision of the CBI judge has drawn applause from various quarters.

Incidentally, it was Singh who had sentenced Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to a 20-year jail term last year in two rape cases.

The judge directed the accused to submit a receipt of the deposited amount on or before the next date of hearing, which is October 1.

The order was passed since the accused and their advocates had failed to turn up on the last date of hearing, when the cross-examination of two prosecution witnesses were supposed to take place.

The counsel for the accused moved an application pleading before the CBI judge that the two prosecution witnesses may be summoned once again for cross-examination as their statements were crucial for delivery of justice in the case. The court allowed the application, albeit with costs.

Three persons, including two former superintendents Ajay Kumar and Ajay Singh, along with an inspector of the excise department, Ravinder Dahiya, were arrested by the CBI in February last year while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 3 lakh to settle a case that was under audit and scrutiny.

The CBI said a deal to settle the case was negotiated at Rs 9 lakh, and Rs 3 lakh was to be paid as the first installment. The CBI acted on a tip-off and nabbed the accused while accepting the bribe.

The counsel for the accused stated before the judge that they could not turn up during the last date of hearing owing to a strike call given by members of the local district bar association.

The plea was allowed by the CBI Judge, but with costs.