In a relief to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, the Supreme Court Thursday stayed the High Court’s order on lodging an FIR against him on alleged corruption charges, news agency PTI reported.
The high court had ordered Tuesday for a CBI probe into allegations made by a journalist in a video, accusing Rawat of allegedly getting money transferred to accounts of relatives in 2016 to back the appointment of a person in Jharkhand to head the Gau Seva Ayog. Rawat was the BJP’s then Jharkhand in-charge.
Appearing for Rawat, Attorney General K K Venugopal told the Supreme Court that the high court had not heard his counsel before ordering CBI probe into allegations of corruption. He further said an FIR cannot be lodged without hearing the party, who is the chief minister in this case, which will unsettle the elected government.
The high court had ordered the CBI probe in the hearing of separate writ petitions (criminal) filed by two journalists – Umesh Kumar 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 after a retired professor, Harinder Singh Rawat, manager of a college in Dehradun, approached the police with a complaint against a video Umesh had uploaded on Facebook in June. As per the complaint, Umesh had alleged that Harinder’s wife Savita Rawat, an associate professor, is the sister of CM Rawat’s wife, and that during demonetisation in 2016 a man named Amratesh Singh Chauhan had deposited money in different bank accounts – belonging to him and his wife.
Harinder stated in his complaint that Umesh alleged that the money was paid as bribe to Rawat to get Chauhan appointed chairperson the gau seva panel.
Harinder rejected allegations that his family is related to the CM, and stated in the complaint that Umesh, in his video, showed fabricated documents relating to cash deposits in bank accounts.
While ordering a CBI probe into allegations against the CM, the HC bench of Justice Ravindra Maithani had on Tuesday also ordered quashing of the FIR against the journalist, Umesh Kumar Sharma.
Opposition Congress in the state demanded Rawat’s resignation, while ruling BJP called the HC judgment “bad in law”.
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