JAIPUR: Jyotsna Suri, the MD of Bharat Hotels Ltd, has challenged the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court ordering criminal cases to be registered against the Puri, former Union Disinvestment Minister Arun Shourie, former Disinvestment Secretary Pradeep Baijal, and two others people for alleged corruption in the disinvestment of the famous Laxmi Vilas Palace Hotel in Udaipur in 2002.
The CBI court had held that the sale of the government-run hotel by the NDA government in 2002 should be reopened as the property valued at over Rs 252 crore was sold for a mere Rs 7.5 crore to the private group and implied a huge loss to the exchequer.
Interestingly, former Union Minister of State for Law in the Modi government and BJP MP, PP Chaudhary has agreed to be the senior lawyer representing Suri in the Rajasthan High Court which has fixed September 22 for a hearing on the case.
Shourie, the former Disinvestment Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, is also reportedly getting ready to challenge the CBI court verdict in the high court. The CBI Court had held that in its investigation, the probe agency had valued the Laxmi Vilas Palace Hotel in Udaipur at Rs 252 crore and its sale for less than `8 crore was indefensible.
The CBI court order had even claimed that Shourie and Baijal had misused their official positions which led to a loss of Rs 244 crore to the government exchequer. The court had refused to accept the Closure Report filed by the CBI and in its order on September 15 and had asked for the five accused to be summoned through warrants.