The Rajasthan High Court Wednesday issued a showcause notice to the Vasundhara Raje government asking why the case of eight Iranian carpets missing from a government-run hotel should not be handed over to the CBI. The case, in which an FIR was filed in 2009, involves Raje and one of her aides.
According to sources, an FIR was registered at Ashok Nagar police station in Jaipur in 2009 by Satendra Kumar, Executive Engineer, Public Works Department, stating that Rakesh Kumar Bhargava, Executive Engineer, PWD, after receiving a letter on March 3, 2005 from the office of the chief minister, demanded two carpets.
In another letter, dated September 17, 2005, he again demanded six carpets to be used in the CM’s office and residence. It was alleged that the carpets were to be received from Rajasthan State Hotel Corporation, Khasa Kothi, for a period of two years on rent and consent was given by the general manager of the corporation. As per the complaint, the carpets were thereafter obtained by Bhargava, who handed them over to Dhirendra Kamthan, Officer on Special Duty to CM. However, after completion of two years, neither was the rent paid nor were the carpets returned.
The petitioner, Ram Singh Kaswa, filed a complaint before Special Judge, Prevention of Corruption Act in November 2013. Kaswa then maintained that even four years after the filing of the FIR, the investigating agency failed to probe the matter properly. The court directed Ashok Nagar police station in-charge to submit the investigation report by December 17, 2013 but nothing was done.
In 2009, the HC had stayed the arrests of Kamthan and Bhargava. It was then alleged that the Congress government was making the allegations due to political vendetta.
The Mathur Commission set up by the Ashok Gehlot government too was asked to probe the missing carpets case, but nothing happened.