BENGALURU: A Special Court dismissed a discharge application filed by S J Ramesh, Chief Manager (Works), Facilities Management Division, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) in a disproportionate assets case registered against him by the CBI.
Judge R B Dharmagoudar on Thursday gave consent to the CBI to frame charges against Ramesh saying that there are sufficient grounds under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, as he allegedly possessed disproportionate assets (DA) to the tune of Rs 66.80 lakh, which is 73.51 per cent more than his known sources of income.
In his application seeking discharge from the case, Ramesh contended that his salary should have been considered as `63.53 lakh. Whereas, the income from salary was considered as Rs 54.57 lakh. The accused also claimed that his daughter had received a gift worth Rs 12.36 lakh and it was not taken into account. Also, his mother’s agriculture income spent on household expenses was not taken into account while calculating the disproportionate assets.
He contended that as per the FIR, the CBI had estimated the disproportionate assets at 301.47 per cent. However, after investigation, this was estimated to be 73.51 per cent. This is enough to say that DA was not calculated properly, he claimed.
The CBI counsel argued that there is no provision for taking his mother’s income while calculating the DA of the accused. The gift that his daughter had received also cannot be considered as the accused did not inform about it to his employer as per rules. There are ample oral and documentary evidence to show that the accused has acquired DA to the tune of `66.80 lakh, he argued.
Taking all these into consideration, the judge said that statements of the 76 witnesses and the content of 168 documents reveal that there is a strong suspicion that the accused has acquired assets disproportionate to his all known sources of income.
The judge further said that these materials if unrebutted would certainly lead to the conviction of the accused. “Therefore, I hold there are sufficient materials against the accused to frame charges under Section 13(2) read with 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Accordingly, the application filed by the accused to discharge him is rejected,” the judge said.