The Delhi High Court on Friday issued a notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation seeking its response on a plea filed by Bharatiya Janata Party MP Maneka Gandhi, challenging a trial court’s order in a corruption case against her, reported The Hindu.
The trial court, in its ruling on February 4, had rejected the agency’s closure report in the case, and asked it to produce the material it has before the sanctioning authority to deliberate on her prosecution. Delhi High Court Justice Yogesh Khanna stayed this order of the trial court.
Gandhi and two others are accused of sanctioning Rs 50 lakh to the Gandhi Rural Welfare Trust for the construction of a nursing college building at Pilibhit during her tenure as the Minister of State of Social Justice and Empowerment between 1998-2001.
Lawyers Tanveer Ahmed Mir and Prateek Som, representing Gandhi, told the High Court that the BJP MP was being targeted by a political opponent, who was making false allegations against her.
In her petition, the BJP MP said that the trial court had directed the investigation agency to place the matter before the sanctioning authority, despite the CBI themselves arriving at the conclusion that there was no criminal culpability on Gandhi’s part. The agency had first filed a closure report in 2008 and the trial court had rejected it, ordering further investigation, according to PTI. Thereafter, the central agency filed again filed a closure report, which was again rejected by the court in February.
The trial court’s order for further inquiry was issued “without providing any significant and specific pointers to the investigating authorities for the purposes of such further investigation,” Gandhi told the High Court, during the hearing.
The CBI said that the special court had three options after it had filed a closure report – to accept it, reject it and order further inquiry or direct placing the material of the case before the sanctioning authority for prosecution.
The counsel for the CBI said that the special court cannot order further inquiry or direct placing of material before sanctioning authority, adding that the investigation agency was “forced to file a chargesheet.”
The central agency also said that the trial court did not lay down any parameters for conducting the re-investigation. It suggested the High Court to quash the trial court’s order and send back the case.