A special court in Mumbai on Wednesday discharged Congress leader and former MLA Kripashankar Singh in a disproportionate assets case. He was discharged as the investigating authority had not received sanction to prosecute him. The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police had filed an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act and sections of the Indian Penal Code pertaining to criminal conspiracy, claiming that Singh was found in possession of pecuniary resources or property valued at over Rs 19 crore in 2012. Apart from Singh, his wife, son, daughter and son-in-law were made accused in the case.
The EOW had claimed the family members had “wilfully aided and abetted” the offence. In 2016, Singh had filed a discharge plea stating that as he was a public servant at the time of the offence, the investigating authorities were required to obtain sanction to prosecute him under Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and under Section 197 of the CrPC. Singh had claimed that the Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly twice rejected the proposal to grant sanction to prosecute him. He submitted that while the Speaker had sought relevant material from the investigating officer in 2013 and 2014, the proposal was rejected both times as “serious discrepancies” were found in the calculation of the alleged disproportionate assets.
“It is submitted that though both these orders were in the custody of the prosecution, the same has been deliberately and wantonly suppressed and withheld from this honourable court,” the discharge application filed by Singh’s advocate K H Giri said.
Singh claimed he had obtained the orders of the Speaker, dated June 14, 2014, and October 21, 2014, by filing Right to Information applications. Singh further claimed that the trial court had “erred” in taking cognizance of the offence as there was no sanction. The EOW had opposed the application, claiming that sanction was not necessary to prosecute him.