In a relief to Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, the Bombay High Court has disposed of a bunch of public interest litigations (PILs) that challenged him being taken off the list of accused in a case of graft.
The PILs had sought quashing of a magistrate’s order which had deleted Patel’s name as an accused in a complaint filed by the Unit Trust of India (UTI) against Auto Riders, a company dealing in automobiles, alleging misuse of funds meant to finance auto loans.
Patel was a non-executive director in Auto Riders and had laid down office in 1999.
The court also did not accept the prayer made in the PILs that the case be transferred to the CBI, a plea opposed by the state government counsel.
A bench of Chief Justice Swantanter Kumar and Justice S C Dharmadhikari, however, directed the Criminal Investigation Department to complete the probe within six months. By a common order, the court disposed of four PILs and a petition filed by UTI.
The bench rejected the plea that Patel’s name had been wrongly deleted from the list and should be included. UTI had complained that Auto Riders had “misused” Rs 126 crore it had received as loans.