CBI has been slapped with a cost of Rs 5,000 as “deterrence” by a special court for repeatedly seeking permission to submit additional documents in a disproportionate assets case involving INLD chief O P Chautala’s son Abhay.
The court, which allowed CBI’s plea to place on record some additional documents in the case, made it clear that the right of prosecution was “not absolute and unchecked” and said it should resort to “due diligence” while filing charge sheet.
“…this is the fourth application moved by prosecution to file additional documents on record. This right of prosecution is not absolute and unchecked, to the extent that, at any stage prosecution may come with similar applications. If these documents were material for just decision of the case, why was this fact not considered earlier while moving similar applications.
“The CBI being premier investigating agency should resort to due diligence while filing the charge sheet so that all relevant and important documents, for just decision of the case, are filed along with the charge sheet and plea of inadvertence is permissible only for one or two occasions,” Special CBI Judge Sanjay Garg-I said.
“To put a deterrence on CBI, cost of Rs 5,000 is imposed to be deposited in DLSA”, the court said, directing the probe agency to provide copy of these documents to the accused at the earliest.
The court’s order came on CBI’s plea seeking permission to file additional documents relied upon. Along with the plea, the agency also filed the list of documents which it will seek from witnesses, who are yet to be examined.
The plea was opposed by Abhay who said prosecution has been allowed thrice to place additional documents on record and this was CBI’s fourth such application and induction of these documents at this stage would prejudice the accused.
To this, the court gave liberty to the accused to seek its permission to further cross-examine any witness, already been examined, in relation to additional documents which CBI has sought to file.
CBI had lodged a case of disproportionate assets against INLD chief and former Haryana Chief Minister O P Chautala and his sons Ajay and Abhay on a complaint of Congress leader Shamsher Singh Surjewala in the 1999-2000 junior basic trained (JBT) teachers recruitment scam.
Chautala and Ajay were sentenced to 10 years in jail earlier this year by the high court in the JBT scam.
CBI had on March 26, 2010 chargesheeted Chautala indicting him for allegedly possessing assets worth Rs 6.09 crore, far exceeding his legal income between 1993 and 2006. Two such cases are going on against his sons, Ajay and Abhay.
In its charge sheet, the CBI had alleged that Chautala’s wealth was 189 per cent more than his income of Rs 3.22 crore during the period.
Abhay allegedly owned assets worth over five times his income of Rs 22.89 crore as per income tax records during the 2000-2005 period. The agency claimed to have found Rs 119.69 crore worth of assets.
The CBI had also claimed that Ajay possessed assets exceeding his legal income by 339.27 per cent. His legal income between May 1993 and May 2006 was Rs 8.17 crore, but had acquired assets worth Rs 27.7 crore, it had alleged.
Earlier, all the three cases, being heard in different courts, were transferred to one court on CBI’s plea that these cases be put up before a single judge as trials in different courts would lead to inordinate delay in concluding them.
All the charges have been denied by Chautala and his sons.