The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the Uttarakhand High Court order for a CBI probe into allegations of corruption levelled by a journalist against Chief Minister Trivendra Singh in a Facebook video.
Issuing notice on a plea by Rawat, a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah said the matter requires consideration. “The CM was not even a party and such a drastic order has been passed,” observed Justice Bhushan.
The High Court, said Justice Shah, had exercised suo motu powers under Article 226 when there was no issue raised by the petitioner. “Everyone was taken by surprise,” he remarked.
Seeking an immediate stay on the October 27 order, Attorney General K K Venugopal told the bench that it is a matter in which the police had registered an FIR and investigation is on.
The HC had mixed up all grounds, he said, adding that the CM was not a party in this case and yet the probe has been ordered without hearing him. This is contrary to SC rulings against destabilising governments, he said. “Look at the consequence and surely HC knows what will happen thereafter. HC is not competent to do this.” Venugopal said the parties in the case had not demanded that an FIR be registered against the CM.
The HC ordered the CBI probe while deciding writ petitions filed by two journalists – Umesh Kunar Sharma and Shiv Prasad Semwal – who had sought quashing of an FIR lodged in July this year at Nehru Colony police station of Dehradun under different IPC sections.
The FIR was lodged following a complaint by a retired professor against a video uploaded by Sharma on Facebook levelling corruption allegations against Rawat.
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