Apex court orders CBI probe against Dinesh
By Express News Service | Published: 07th September 2013 10:06 AM |
In perhaps, the first of its kind judgment against a serving DGP, the Supreme Court on Friday directed the CBI to probe alleged disproportionate assets of State police chief V Dinesh Reddy. The investigating agency has been directed to submit a status report within four weeks.
The verdict came on a petition filed by senior IPS officer Umesh Kumar seeking a CBI probe into the alleged disproportionate assets of Dinesh Reddy. Though Umesh had also sought quashing of proceedings against him in a case pertaining to the forgery of a letter — which in fact details Dinesh Reddy’s assets — the apex court refused to do so and directed him to go back to the trial court. In effect, it meant the trial will proceed against Umesh in a lower court.
While delivering the judgment, the apex court bench comprising Justice B S Chauhan and Justice S A Bobde made clear its displeasure with the State government and the State Chief Secretary. It observed that the manner in which the State government had “misdirected itself” and “abandoned the most relevant issue — the complaint against Dinesh Reddy— and instead, focused exclusively on Umesh Kumar had “shocked its conscience.”
The complaint was initially made in respect of immovable properties acquired by Dinesh Reddy and his wife and the Central government had asked the State government to inquire into the allegations.
“The complaint may be forged or fabricated but it is nobody’s case that the copies of sale deeds annexed along with the complaint were not genuine,” the court observed.
It remarked, “If illegally collected material can be examined by the court of law, we fail to understand how could the State Government not examine the contents of the complaint on the basis of the annexed copies of sale deeds etc.”
Earlier, the court had asked Chief Secretary PK Mohanty to disclose whether preliminary or disciplinary inquiry had ever been conducted on the alleged sale deeds drawn in favour of Dinesh Reddy’s wife or her general power of attorney holders or relatives. In reply, the Chief Secretary had filed an undated affidavit and offered various explanations.
Clearly unimpressed, the court said, “The Chief Secretary has not revealed whether a preliminary enquiry or a domestic enquiry had ever been conducted. No explanation has been furnished as to why for two years, the enquiry could not be held in this regard.”
It further observed: “The Chief Secretary had the audacity not to ensure the compliance of the order of this court dated July 24, 2013, and we have no words to express our anguish and condemn the attitude adopted by the Chief Secretary. More so, holding such a responsible post in the State, he must have some sense of responsibility and should have been aware of what are the minimum requirements of law, and even if he did not know he could have consulted any law officer of the State before filing the undated affidavit.”
Ordering a CBI probe against Dinesh Reddy, the court directed the Chief Secretary to make copies of relevant documents available to the agency.
On Umesh Kumar, the court said if any person has forged a letter and the signature of an MP, the matter being of a grave nature, required investigation. “We cannot find fault with the action initiated against Umesh Kumar.. Once criminal law is put in motion and after investigation, the chargesheet is filed, it requires scrutiny in the court of law,” it said.
A letter dated 22.4.2011 was received by the Ministry of Home Affairs purported to have been written by M.A. Khan (MP) enclosing a representation of All India Banjara Seva Samithi asking for an impartial enquiry against V Dinesh Reddy, the then DG (Vigilance and Enforcement) Department alleging that he had amassed disproportionate assets in the name of his wife and her power of attorney holders. A large number of documents were annexed in support of the allegations in the complaint.
The letter was then sent to the state government through Dinesh Reddy after which the government asked the Additional DGP (CID) to enquire to find out whether the signature of MA Khan was genuine, not the allegations contained therein.