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No probe against Amitabh, rules SC

The apex court dismisses UP Govt's petition seeking criminal investigation against Bachchan in the Barabanki land deal case, reports Bhadra Sinha.
Hindustan Times | By Bhadra Sinha, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 01, 2008 03:12 AM IST

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed Uttar Pradesh government's petition seeking criminal investigation against Amitabh Bachchan in the Barabanki land deal case in UP.

The bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan refused to entertain the petition challenging the Allahabad High Court's order restraining it from initiating any criminal, civil or revenue proceedings against Bachchan. It said that no case of forgery was made out against Bachchan, especially, since he had relinquished his rights over the land in Barabanki.

The court even turned down the plea of senior advocate, KK Venugopal, representing the UP government, to clarify that the Allahabad High Court order did not prohibit the state police to investigate the case of forgery in the land deal.

When Venugopal pressed his claim repeatedly, the court asked him to give an undertaking that the government will not initiate any criminal proceedings against Bachchan. Venugopal refused to give the statement and added: "Do you want us to say that even if a person is an abettor, is guilty of forgery, we should give up the case against him?"

The High Court had on December 11, 2007 given a clean chit to the actor, observing that there was no finding that the actor "himself committed any fraud or manipulated any surreptitious entry in the revenue records." It also prohibited the state from initiating any civil or criminal proceedings.

Criticising the order, Venugopal argued there was a case of manipulation in revenue records. "He and some government officials manipulated the records to show that Bachchan owned agricultural land in UP. Taking benefit of this Bachchan purchased land in Maharashtra. His role has to be probed alongwith the government officials who colluded with him to commit the alleged crime," the counsel added.

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