After 16 years of being booked in a corruption case, former UT chief engineer KK Jerath and 25 others were acquitted by additional district and sessions judge Najar Singh, as the prosecution failed to prove the allegations.
This was the last pending case against the former UT chief engineer and a decision has now been arrived at the nine cases registered against him. Of the nine, he has been acquitted in six, the vigilance department withdrew two and he was convicted by a special CBI in a disproportionate assets case in 2009, appeal against which is pending.
In the case in which the judgment was delivered on Thursday, the vigilance department had booked the accused under various Sections of Prevention of Corruption Act on February 3, 1998.
The case was registered after a team of the income tax department raided the residences of all the accused and the three mediators. The prosecution had claimed that kickbacks worth lakhs of rupees had been accepted by Jerath for issuing supply orders during his tenure as chief engineer. His name also appears in the diaries of the alleged middlemen -- Suresh Sharma, Dinesh Sharma, and Sunil Kalia, recovered during raids by the Income-Tax authorities at their residences. The prosecution said that these diaries contained entries of the kickbacks paid to Jerath and other officials of the engineering department.
Terminder Singh, defence counsel for KK Jerath, said, "Jerath was implicated at the behest of the then UT home secretary, Anuradha Gupta, owing the rift between the two. The acquittal reiterated what we had been saying all these years."
The others acquitted include superintendent engineer JC Galhotra, superintendent engineer SS Dhir, PA to chief engineer RP Vashishth, junior engineers JK Gandhi and Dinesh Tandon, XENs CJ Rai, Sham Lal and Sadhu Singh, head draftsman VK Malhotra, Senior assistant Sudhir Khanna, superintendent Pyare Lal and peon Heramani. The vigilance department also booked three employees of private company Dinesh Sharma, Suresh Sharma and Sunil Kalia, who allegedly acted as middlemen.