Delhi HC refuses to quash charges against Batra
The Delhi High Court has refused to quash a city court's order to try SM Batra, a former officer on special duty (OSD) to Haryana Governor, for allegedly bribing a relative of the then urban development minister Shiela Kaul in 1994 to procure a no-objection certificate for a housing society.
"I find neither any illegality in the order nor any abuse of the process of the court warranting interference of this court in exercise of its writ jurisdiction. The petition is dismissed," Justice Mukta Gupta said.
"The petitioner (Batra) has been charged for the offence under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC read with Section 9 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
"From the statement of the witness on record, it is apparent that Batra was a conspirator in demanding and handing over the money to the son-in-law of the then minister for her to perform the official function of granting NOC to the society," the court said.
Earlier, a lower court in 2003 had framed charges against Batra and others under the IPC and the PCA for offences of hatching criminal conspiracy, paying bribe and abusing his official position to gain illegal benefits.
The CBI, in its charge sheet, had alleged that Batra had entered into a conspiracy from December 1993 to May 1994 to obtain illegal gratification for a public servant to provide no-objection certificate to Jagjiwan Co-operative House Building Society Limited at Vasant Kunj in South Delhi.
Aggrieved by the lower court order, Batra had moved the high court to seek setting aside of criminal charges against him, saying there was no specific allegation against him of misusing his official position.