SC Dismisses Plea of Former Chhattisgarh Bureaucrat Seeking Transfer of DA Case to CBI

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea by Aman Kumar Singh, former principal secretary to the erstwhile BJP chief minister of Chhattisgarh Raman Singh, and his wife seeking transfer of a disproportionate assets case against them to CBI.

A bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud ruled it was not a fit case for transfer.

“We are seeing day in and day out politics is brought in court in some form or another. It’s not that we can’t see and don’t understand. In this case, you have have your remedies,” Justice PS Narasimha, who was also part of the bench, observed.

At the outset, senior advocate A Sundaram, appearing for Singh, submitted the couple’s lives were being made hell by the state authorities and the chief minister has written under his own hand that the case must be probed by the Economic Offences Wing of the state police.

“I am being harassed. My wife is a Kathak dancer. They have started harassing her, too. None wants to dance with her anymore. ED has shown us documents which have WhatsApp chats with state government officials on how they’ll create difficulties for us,” he said.

Senior advocate Mahesh Jethamalani, also appearing for the Singhs, submitted a fishing enquiry is going on against them.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal and lawyer Sumeer Sodhi, representing the Chhattisgarh government, called the allegations malafide.

“The petitioners are not intending to interdict any investigation into the FIR lodged against them but are compelled to seek a transfer of the investigation from the Economic Offences Wing/Anti Corruption Branch to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) because the investigating agency of the state government i.e. EOW/ACB has been acting, is acting, and the petitioners have every reason to believe will continue to act in an arbitrary, grossly unfair and non-transparent manner,” the plea filed by the Singhs before the apex court said.

In a setback to the couple, the top court had earlier set aside the Chhattisgarh High Court order quashing an FIR against them for allegedly amassing assets disproportionate to their known sources of income, saying the “unsatiated greed for wealth has facilitated corruption to develop like cancer.”

The apex court, while paving the way for the prosecution of Singh and his wife, had come down heavily on those indulging in corruption and said constitutional courts owed a duty to the people of the country to show zero tolerance in such cases.

It had said corruption is a prominent hurdle in achieving the “preambular promise” of the Constitution to secure social justice to the people of India by striving to achieve equal distribution of wealth.

The Chhattisgarh High Court had earlier quashed the FIR registered against 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 on probabilities.

Singh, a former Indian Revenue Service Officer, was a powerful bureaucrat in the Raman Singh-led BJP government.

He later joined the Adani group in November 2022 as the Corporate Brand Custodian and Corporate Affairs head, and when Adani took control of NDTV, Singh was one of the directors the Adani group appointed on the board of the news broadcaster.

The case was registered against the Singhs in February 2020 under 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.

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