The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday quashed the Haryana lokayukta order on registration of a first information report (FIR) against Ram Kishan Fauji, former chief parliamentary secretary in Bhupinder Singh Hooda government, in change of land use (CLU) scam.
The state police had registered a criminal case against Fauji on lokayukta orders in December last year. But the high court had stayed the FIR proceedings and had sent the controversial CD which had a video footage of Fauji allegedly seeking `5 crore for getting some people CLU permission for a land in Gurgaon, a video recorder and its memory chip to central forensic laboratory (CFSL), Hyderabad, for examination on December 19.
The bench of justice K Kannan quashed the lokayukta order following the CFSL report. Though a detailed order is awaited, the high court bench held that no link could be established between the content in the CD and the memory chip of cameras sent for forensic examination. It was further recorded that the CD could not withstand the test of authenticity.
The court also observed that the lokayukta should have examined the CD's authenticity before ordering the FIR. "The direction is wholly inappropriate and not justified at all," said justice Kannan in the open court while quashing the order of FIR registration and the further proceedings of the case.
The action against Fauji was the first graft case ordered to be registered at lokayukta's instance. Lokayukta justice Pritam Pal (retd) had submitted his report in January last year recommending a case against Fauji under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The Indian National Lok Dal leaders had sent the CD to the media on September 6 2013, saying it was shot as part of its sting operation, and also submitted it to Haryana governor, casting aspersions on some of the legislators including Fauji.
The government, in September 2013, asked the state lokayukta to look into the allegations as contained in the CD.