MPSC scam: Accused discharged in one case
The man who was chairman of the MPSC at the time of the 1999 multi-crore scam has been partly redeemed by the court, at least as far as a disproportionate assets case is concerned.Updated: Mar 03, 2009 00:42 IST
The man who was chairman of the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) at the time of the 1999 multi-crore scam has been partly redeemed by the court, at least as far as a disproportionate assets case is concerned.
The former MPSC chairman, Shashikant Karnik, and his wife, Sharmila, were late last week discharged by the special Anti-
Corruption Bureau (ACB) court in the disproportionate assets case filed in December 2005.
Karnik was arrested on July 14, 2002 in connection with the main, 1999 MPSC exam malpractices case that was lodged on June 20 that year.
He was released on bail on October 1 that year, only to be arrested again in April 2003 after the high court cancelled his bail.
He finally got bail again after two years.
In the course of the MPSC scam investigations, the ACB had conducted raids on two homes owned by Karnik and claimed the former vice-chancellor of the University of Mumbai had amassed crores of rupees.
The ACB registered a separate offence, that of possession of assets disproportionate to known sources of income.
His wife was also made an accused since she, too, had served as a government servant; she was a lecturer with an aided educational institute in the city.
At the time, ACB officials estimated the couple’s worth to be Rs 3.2 crore, which according to them was 380 per cent more than the Karniks’ income from known sources.
The ACB had to file an ‘A’ summary, or a request to court to close the case, instead of a chargesheet when the initial estimates dropped to a mere 6 per cent after investigations.
Special ACB court Judge K.P. Joshi on Friday allowed the ACB plea to discharge Karnik and his wife saying the existence of assets disproportionate to known income sources by 6 per cent was not sufficient to establish the offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Under the provisions of the act, only public servants who acquire or possess property worth 10 per cent more than their income from known sources can be prosecuted.