The Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) has rejected a plea by a Debts Recovery Tribunal’s (DRT) Recovery Officer to discharge him from a case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation for allowing his wife to purchase certain properties entrusted to him for auctioneering.
The accused S Kasimayan, was working as Recovery Officer at the DRT in Madurai. As part of his duty, he was entrusted with the auction of certain properties in November 2006. Initially he issued an advertisement in an English daily announcing that the said auction would be conducted at Dhanalakshmi Bank in Tiruchy. In the same paper, he issued another advertisement stating that auction would take place at the DRT in Madurai.
The CBI charged that Kasimayan had deliberately misled bidders so that his wife could successfully bid for the properties at the DRT in Madurai. Also, he had unscrupulously fixed the upset price for the properties at Rs16.48 lakh, whereas its market value was Rs 69.97 lakh.
Eventually when the auction was held in April 2008, Kasimayan’s wife offered the “highest” bid of Rs 1.55 lakh for one of the properties. Though a stay was obtained from Debts Recovery Appellate Tribunal in Mumbai in May 2008 Kasimayan issued the sale certificate to the successful bidder in June 2008. Subsequently, on receiving a complaint, the CBI registered a case against Kasimayan and others and filed the final probe report before the trial court.
Seeking to be discharged from the case, Kasimayan moved the High Court.
However, passing orders, Justice A Arumughaswamy said that it was clear that the accused had worked with an intention to help the auction purchaser. “But this aspect can be appreciated only after examining the witnesses” he added and dismissed Kasimayan’s plea.