BILASPUR: The Chhattisgarh High Court on Monday quashed the FIR registered against the state's former principal secretary Aman Singh and his wife for allegedly amassing disproportionate assets observing that the registration of the case was the "abuse" of the process of law and that the allegations were prima facie based upon probabilities.
A single bench of Justice Narendra Kumar Vyas passed the order after hearing the petitions filed by Singh and his wife, Yasmin Singh, challenging the FIR, their counsel Abhishek Sinha said.
The case was registered in February 2020 against the Singhs under sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code based on a complaint lodged by Uchit Sharma.
Sharma, who claims himself to be an RTI activist, is based in Raipur.
The petitioners had challenged the FIR claiming that it contains baseless and immaterial allegations and deserves to be quashed.
The petitioners had also submitted that the FIR is an abuse of police and State power, Sinha said.
After hearing the arguments, the HC had reserved its order on October 4 last year.
"The FIR has been registered based on the complaint made by one Uchit Sharma for the alleged disproportionate property against the petitioners and involvement of the petitioner (Aman Singh) in the various scam and money laundering, but the FIR does not speak about how the petitioner involved in the alleged scam as mentioned in the FIR.
"It has also been stated in the FIR that the petitioner was working in various posts of profit and working as an influential person and the fact is not in dispute that the petitioner was on deputation and worked as Joint Secretary with the Government of Chhattisgarh, definitely he has posted in the office of Chief Minister of State, therefore, merely his working as Joint Secretary cannot be said to have been the commission of an offence under Section 13 (1)(b), 13 (2) of the Act, 1988 and Section 120B of IPC, thus, the registration of FIR is nothing but an abuse of process of law," the high court's order said.
It said the FIR nowhere discloses commission of any offence with definite facts and figures.
"It is not in dispute that truthfulness of allegation has to be examined on evidence, but at least it is incumbent on the part of the prosecution that the FIR should prima facie disclose the commission of an offence under Section 13 (1)(b) read with Section 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and Section 120B of IPC, but all the allegations levelled against the petitioner are prima facie based upon probabilities and based on probability any person cannot be prosecuted," the bench said.
Aman Singh, formerly an IRS (Indian Revenue Service) officer, had joined the Raman Singh government during its first tenure in 2004 on deputation.
He resigned from the IRS in 2010 and continued to work with the state BJP government on a contractual basis.
He was an influential bureaucrat during the 15-year Raman Singh rule in the state and served in various prominent capacities.
His wife worked with Public Health Engineering (PHE) and Panchayat and Rural Development Department on a contractual basis from 2005 to 2018, the EOW had said.
Aman Singh had resigned from service after Congress was elected to power following the 2018 assembly elections.