Former Union Urban Development Minister Sheila Kaul and her colleague PK Thungan are set to face criminal trial in a 1995 scam, relating to allotment of over 40 shops and stalls in the Capital, after a Delhi court ordered framing of charges against them.
Finding prima-facie evidence against the Cabinet colleagues of former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao, Additional Sessions Judge SP Garg said, “There was sufficient material on record against the ministers and 37 others to proceed with the criminal trial against them”.
The Court, however, discharged four other accused, who were allotted shops in 1995 for want of prima-facie evidence.
The Court allowed the plea of special CBI prosecutor Naveen Kumar Matta that the accused ministers abused their official position to further their common intention to gain monetary benefits.
The prosecution submitted in the court that during the period of March 1995 to June 1995, shops were allotted arbitrarily without any public notice or any advertisement. Nearly 52 shops were allotted in different parts of New Delhi.
Former Union Urban Development Minister Kaul, former minister of state Thungan and 45 others were charged by the CBI for allegedly hatching a conspiracy in allotting shops and stalls in 1995.
The trial against the four accused would be abated as they died during the pre-trial proceedings.
The Court would formally frame charges on April 2 in the case against under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with criminal conspiracy, misappropriation of funds and abuse of official position.
The matter had come to notice when a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by Shiv Sagar Tiwari alleging fraud in allotments of shops at a large scale.