Chhattisgarh CM, SIT, top law officer weakened case against two IAS in PDS scam: ED to SC
The agency told the top court that the transcript of messages clearly reveals the nature of the misuse of power in the State of Chhattisgarh, tampering with evidence and influencing of the witnesses.
NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has told the Supreme Court that investigation has revealed that Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, members of the Special Investigation Team (SIT), and a top law officer have weakened the case against two senior IAS officers accused of corruption in the multi-crore Public Distribution System (PDS) scam.
The ED has sought cancellation of anticipatory bail granted to the two IAS officers and said the Chhattisgarh High Court failed to consider that the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Economic offenses Wing made a recovery of more than Rs three crore in cash after a raid was conducted on State Public Distribution Corporation, Raipur.
The probe agency, which has challenged the high court order, submitted that the message conversations found in the mobile phone seized by the Income Tax Department "shockingly revealed" both the main accused Anil Kumar Tuteja and Alok Shukla (senior IAS officers facing criminal prosecution in Scheduled Offences of corruption), in connivance with successive chiefs of the prosecuting agency namely EOW-ACB, Chhattisgarh, one very senior law officer in the High Court of Chhattisgarh, Members of the SIT and with the intervention of the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, have weakened the offence of corruption against them.
It claimed that they weakened the case "by procuring favourable reports from the said prosecuting agency and SIT and by actively influencing and threatening witnesses of the predicate offences as well as the offence of money laundering."
The agency told the top court that the transcript of messages clearly reveals the nature of the misuse of power in the State of Chhattisgarh, tampering with evidence and influencing of the witnesses involving some constitutional functionaries also.
"It is submitted that the High Court failed to examine and scrutinize the material placed before it and failed to consider that a prima facie case is made out against the Respondents herein. The charge-sheet, including the supplementary charge sheet, is replete with material evidence substantiating the role played by the instant Respondents in their wide-scale scam of furthering corrupt practices for their own vested interests," the agency told the top court.
"The transcript of such messages clearly reveal the nature of misuse of power in Chhattisgarh, tampering with evidence and influencing the witnesses going on and a potential conspiracy involving some constitutional functionaries also," the ED said.
"Considering the sensitivity of the contents of the transcript, the ED, at this juncture places the transcript in a 'sealed cover', subject to a decision to be taken by the Supreme Court on whether to put the same in the public domain or not," the agency said.
The Chhattisgarh High Court on August 14, 2020, had granted anticipatory bail to two IAS officers in the PDS scam case.
The Economic Offences Investigation (EOI) and Anti-corruption Bureau, Raipur, Chhattisgarh conducted raids on February 12, 2015, in different district offices and residences of the officers of Chhattisgarh State Civil Supplies Corporation and Chhattisgarh State Warehousing Corporation including its headquarter at Raipur and had registered a case against the officers of the corporation.
The ED had also registered a money laundering case in connection with the scam against two IAS officers.