Major acquitted in corruption case that CBI moved to army
A general court martial (GCM) at Ambala has acquitted a major-rank officer of two counts of corruption. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had pursued this case before handing it over to the army.
On August 20, 2010, major Vikalp Purohit, then posted with General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF), was arrested from Koksar on the Manali-Leh road. One of the charges was that he earned by selling off the army diesel, as in this regard, `23,000 was recovered from his office. The second allegation was that he had loaned 1,200-litre diesel to road contractor Sahdev Sharma.
The Western Army commander did not allow the prosecution to put the major on trial. The major's counsel, colonel SK Aggarwal (retd), has said that in the army commander's opinion, no case was made out since "in a difficult terrain, it was their (army's) duty to provide help". After that, in June 2012, the CBI submitted the final report to the sessions judge in Shimla and the case was handed over to the army. The major was then tried at a GCM at Ambala where CBI superintendent of police R Upasak was among the prosecution witnesses.
The order of acquittal came last week. On the reasons for acquittal, colonel Aggarwal said: "We proved that `23,000 was never recovered from him, but planted by the CBI in his absence. No search and seizure memo was made. The CBI claimed that no power was there to prepare the memo but we proved that the situation was otherwise."
Regarding the second accusation of giving away diesel on loan, the major's counsel said: "We proved that the permission for it was given by the officer in charge of GREF, in public interest, and not major Purohit." He claimed that there was a video of the incident but during the GCM proceedings, a fake footage made after the incident had been produced.
Deepak Kesarkar, an MLA who represents Sawantwadi, said that after his return from Mumbai on Thursday night, the newly sworn-in chief minister asked the MLAs to behave in a “more mature fashion”.
In October 2019, the Bombay high court (HC) quashed a clutch of petition by environmentalists that sought to declare a 33-acre plot in the city’s green lung as a legal forest under the Indian Forest Act (1927). This patch was demarcated in 2013 to construct a car shed for the upcoming Metro 3 line.
If there is something that stands out in the rebellion led by Eknath Shinde and his predecessors like Chhagan Bhujbal, Narayan Rane and Raj Thackeray, it is the way in which the Shiv Sena leadership and even the ordinary Shiv Sainik responded to the crisis. If in the past the grassroots workers rallied around Balasaheb Thackeray, Sena leaders today admit to a virtual paralysis that has set in the party following the mass desertions led by Eknath Shinde.
Terming the notice as a “love letter”, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar said it showed the qualitative difference with which central agencies act towards leaders of the opposition and those in the government.
Karnataka home minister Araga Janendra said Friday he had only just received information about an alleged assault on two women in Anekal, a town in Bengaluru district. The sisters were allegedly stripped and assaulted at their home for failing to pay a debt. Multiple media reports have said the police refused to file a complaint for two days and only did so after videos of the assault were widely shared online.