In an unusual development, five witnesses in the case of power theft against Bhushan Industrial Corporation could not be examined in a city court on Saturday because the CBI could not produce the relevant record.
Taking note of the CBI’s lapse, Additional District and Sessions Judge Vimal Kumar asked the agency to take a “firm stand as to whether the record which is not traceable (on Saturday) can be traced or not”.
Further, the court said “the witnesses shall be summoned only after CBI takes a stand regarding the record on or before 25.11.2014”.
The accused in the case, which was adjourned to December 6, include Brij Bhushan Singhal, managing director of BIC, and officials of the Bhakra Beas Management Board and the Electricity Department.
The court had summoned nine witnesses for examination. However, the statement of only one witness could be recorded.
One witness, Sukhwinder Singh, was dropped as “repetitive” by the CBI counsel, summons for a second witness could not be served due to change of address and a third moved an application for exemption as his wife was unwell. Records pertaining to the other five witnesses could not be traced by CBI officials and the counsel.
In its order, the court said, “Prosecutor submits that without the record, which is not traceable at the moment, no prosecution witness can be examined. Counsel for the accused submits that the record to be shown to the witnesses, P P Wahi, Bharat Kumar, K G Khanna, Inderjit Sharma and Narinder Singh is not traceable. So the prosecution should take a firm stand.”
The court recorded that the CBI should make it clear if the witnesses were to be examined or given up.
The court had framed charges against Brij Bhushan Singhal on February 22, 2006, in the case involving power theft amounting to Rs 30.65 lakh between April 1985 and July 1988.
The accused had “wilfully and fraudulently” prevented the meter from duly registering the supply from D-3 feeder of the Bhakra Beas Management Board sub-station in Sector 28, from where power was supplied to BIC.
They allegedly caused a loss to the UT Electricity Department, as also the Haryana State Electricity Board by siphoning off 1,17,45,906 units of power in a criminal conspiracy.