A Delhi court today asked the Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences to constitute a board of senior doctors to examine the mental condition of 98-year-old former Union Minister Sheila Kaul against whom the court is to frame charges in a 1996 housing scam case.
Special CBI Judge Pradeep Chaddah ordered the AIIMS Director to constitute a board to give its opinion on whether Kaul can understand the proceedings of the court.
“You (Director,AIIMS) are called upon to constitute a medical board comprising senior doctors from various fields who should examine her (Kaul) and give their opinion whether she is in a condition to understand the proceedings against her and whether she is of unsound mind and her present physical condition,” the court said.
The court has called for the report on April 30.
The court gave the directions after Kaul’s counsel said she (Kaul) is not in a position to understand the proceedings and that a board may be constituted to report regarding her mental faculties.
The court had on February 5 decided to frame charges against her and her two aides her erstwhile Additional Private Secretary Rajan Lala and Private Assistant R K Sharma in the case.
It had held that on the face of it,a case was made out against the trio,accused of allegedly allotting government accommodations here for a consideration and out-of-turn,and had adjourned the case for February 17 for formal order on charge-framing but the same is being deferred for want of Kaul’s personal appearance in the court.
CBI had chargesheeted Kaul and her aides in April,2003,under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and for various other offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The CBI chargesheet had indicted her for conspiring with her two personal staff for making out-of-turn allotment of government accommodation to officials after securing pecuniary benefits from alottees between 1992 and 1995.
The trio allegedly used to accept applications directly from government officials seeking allotment of accommodation and the minister would pass orders without considering objections raised by the Estate Directorate.
A CBI probe was launched into the case on the Supreme Court’s direction on a PIL by advocate Shiv Sagar Tewari.