New Delhi: A special court has dismissed a plea seeking registration of an FIR against Congress leaders and ex-ministers Salman Khurshid and PK Bansal for allegedly abusing their official positions to ensure extension of the service of a PSU official after his superannuation.
Special CBI Judge Vinod Kumar cited lack of evidence to suggest criminality in the matter and rejected the plea that had sought registration of an FIR against both the politicians and several other officials of the Ministry of Water Resources and AK Jhamb, then Director (Engineering) National Projects Construction Corporation Limited (NPCC) Ltd.
“I do not find anything on record to show that there was any abuse of official position by any of the accused or any corrupt or illegal means were used by any of the accused persons or while holding office as public servant obtained any pecuniary advantage without public interest for themselves or for Jhamb. All the acts appeared to have been done by the public servants in normal course of discharge of their official duties. There is no evidence, direct or circumstantial, on record to show that Accused 1 (Jhamb) entered in a criminal conspiracy with the remaining accused persons for the purpose of getting any pecuniary advantage,” the judge said, while dismissing the complaint.
In its order, the court said, “one may agree or disagree with the decision of the Ministry but it cannot be forgotten that ultimate authority to take decision was Ministry in question i.e. Salman Khurshid(who then headed it).” Regarding Bansal, a successor of Khurshid, the court said that “a Minister, who had no role in enhancing the retirement age, cannot held responsible for the acts of his predecessor.”
The court, in its order, said “Perusal of the noting dated March 10, 2011, signed by accused 2, ie, G Mohan Kumar, Additional Secretary (Water Resources) and by accused 3 ie Dhruv Vijai Singh, the Secretary (WR), which was approved by Minister of Water Resources (i.e. Salman Khurshid) ie accused 4, shows that they have thoroughly considered all the issues involved and have expressly given their opinions. It is not necessary for a Minister to always agree to the previous notings and opinions. Further, Public Enterprises Selection Board is only a recommendatory body. It is not the case that a new appointment has been made flouting all norms.” It added that Jhamb was already in service.
The CBI had earlier told the court that prima facie, the allegations against the accused did not warrant registration of an FIR. A former Assistant Engineer (Civil) of NPCC, SR Hussain, had filed the complaint claiming that “at the instance of Jhamb, the accused persons hatched a conspiracy to abuse their official positions and got Jhamb’s tenure as a Director (Engg) with M/s NPCC Ltd extended beyond March 31, 2011 (Jhamb’s retirement age)… despite earlier rejection of the plea by Public Enterprises Selection Board.”