Giving relief to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s aide Vincent George, the Delhi High Court on Monday issued a stay on the proceedings in the case against George for alleged possession of disproportionate assets in an anti-corruption court.
“Proceedings before the special judge are stayed,” said Justice Veena Birbal after lengthy arguments on behalf of George by Senior Advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul.
On July 24 this year, Special CBI Judge J P S Malik had summoned George to face trial in a case relating to acquisition of disproportionate assets after rejecting a closure report filed by the CBI. George, who had held the position of private secretary to former Prime Minister and then Leader of Opposition Rajiv Gandhi, had been accused of having acquired assets in the name of his wife, children and close relatives in “benami” during his tenure as a public servant from November 1984 to December 1990.
During the hearing on Monday before the court, Senior Advocate Kaul argued that the order amounted to “harassment” of his client. “Every penny and every transaction has been accounted for, and the CBI filed a closure report,” argued Kaul. The closure report had said that the money received into the bank accounts of George and his family members had been “remittances” sent by family members living abroad.
The CBI prosecutor had argued that the HC could not stay proceedings in a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
However, citing Supreme Court orders, Kaul argued that the apex court in several orders had stayed anti-corruption act proceedings, and that “there can not be a legislative provision to say that the court cannot exercise its inherent powers.”
George had been summoned by the CBI court to appear before it on August 30.