Finding prima facie evidence against an IFS officer and a singer, a Delhi court has ordered framing of charges against them for their alleged involvement in trafficking of nine persons to Germany in 2005.
"Material collected and placed on record by investigating agency to my mind is sufficient to proceed further against the accused persons," special CBI judge Kanwaljeet Arora said.
The court has now fixed the case for hearing on June 8 when formally charges for the offences of cheating, criminal conspiracy and corruption would be framed against Rakesh Kumar, former director-general of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), and Punjabi singer Balwinder Kaur.
Besides the duo, the court has also found prima facie evidence against Shiv Kumar Sharma, the then employee of Punjab Agricultural University and Gurbej Singh, a constable with Punjab Armed Police.
It was alleged that the IFS officer, in 2005, facilitated empanelling of a bogus cultural group 'Mehak Punjab Di' and illegally trafficked nine persons to Berlin by misusing his official position.
The officer had directed to send a team of 15 members, comprising inexperienced and untrained Punjabi folk dancers, to Germany on government sponsorship before his transfer from ICCR, the charge sheet said.
The court said that on reading statements of the witnesses and materials on record, a prima facie view emerges that the accused formed a cultural group with an aim to traffic human beings to a foreign country for "extraneous
consideration" and not to promote Indian culture and heritage.
Earlier, the CBI had filed the charge sheet against Kumar, a 1972 batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, and others for conspiring to send people abroad on false pretext.