CBI court takes cognisance of chargesheet against retired Odisha HC Judge IM Quddusi
A Delhi court on Tuesday took cognisance of CBI chargesheet against former Odisha high court judge filed in July this year in connection with its probe into alleged corruption in the debarment of a private medical college - Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences.
The former judge, IM Quddusi, was arrested along with others in September 2017 by the CBI.
While taking cognisance of the CBI chargesheet, Special CBI Judge Anil Kumar Sisodia at Rouse Avenue Courts said, “From the perusal of the chargesheet, statements of witnesses and the documents filed along with chargesheet, I am of the considered opinion that there is sufficient material to take cognisance of the offence. Accordingly, I take cognisance of the offence as detailed in the chargesheet”.
The judge has summoned the seven accused including IM Quddusi for January 9.
Asked about the development, IM Quddusi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal said: “The CBI seems to be adding a few bits here and few bits there. The same would not withstand the test of judicial scrutiny.”
The central agency had booked Quddusi in September 2017 under Section 8 (taking gratification in order to influence public servant) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and criminal conspiracy along with Bhawana Pandey, Bhubaneswar based middleman Biswanatha Agrawala, Sudhir Giri, and BP Yadav and Palash Yadav of Prasad Institute.
According to the CBI FIR and the preliminary enquiry in the case, Prasad Institute was among 46 colleges barred in July 2017 by the government from admitting medical students for the next one or two years because of substandard facilities and non-fulfilment of the required criteria.
Yadav challenged the debarment in the Supreme Court.
The top court, on August 1, 2017, directed the government to consider the materials on record afresh.
Following the order, the government heard the college and passed a decision on August 10, 2017 to debar the college from admitting fresh students for the two years – 2017-18 and 2018-19. It also authorised MCI to encash the bank guarantee of ₹2 crores given by the institute.
CBI’s FIR claims that BP Yadav got in touch with Justice (retd) IM Quddusi and Bhawana Pandey through Giri of a medical college in Meerut and plotted to settle the matter.
“Information further revealed that on the advice of IM Quddisi, the petition was withdrawn from the apex court on August 15, 2017 and a petition was filed in the Allahabad High Court,” the agency’s FIR added.
The Allahabad HC passed an order stopping authorities from removing the college from the list of institutions notified for counselling till August 31, 2017. It also stayed the encashment of bank guarantees till that date.
The high court order was challenged by the MCI through a Special Leave Petition.
According to CBI, BP Yadav again approached IM Quddusi and Bhawana Pandey who assured him that they could settle the matter in the apex court. They further engaged Agrawala for the settlement, the agency said.
During its probe, CBI had recovered a total of ₹1 crore in cash from various locations.