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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Ex-Rajasthan minister summoned by court for allegedly slapping IAS 22 years ago

Devi Singh Bhati, BJP leader who was a minister in the Bhairon Singh Shekhawat government, alleged that there was a conspiracy against him while the IAS oficer says he holds no grudge against Bhati.

jaipur Updated: Oct 17, 2019 11:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Devi Singh Bhati had to resign after the opposition Congress put pressure on the government over his alleged slapping of an IAS officer.
Devi Singh Bhati had to resign after the opposition Congress put pressure on the government over his alleged slapping of an IAS officer. (HT Photo )
         

Twenty-two years after a former minister in the Rajasthan government allegedly slapped an IAS officer, the CID-CB has presented it’s chargesheet in a Jaipur court.

The additional chief judicial metropolitan magistrate court 11 has summoned former BJP leader and ex-minister Devi Singh Bhati on October 21.

Bhati has denied the charges. “This is such an old matter. It is a criminal conspiracy against me.”

He said he had not received any subpoena from the court. “I came to know about the court summons from the media. I will take legal advice in this matter. The charges are not true and wrong sections have been imposed,” the 74-year-old Bhati said.

The IAS officer in question, PK Deb is not interested in proceeding with the case. Deb, who is retired, was quoted in a local vernacular daily as saying that the case is very old and he had forgotten about it. He said he holds no grudge against Bhati who is now very old.

The case dates back to 1997. Bhati was then the irrigation minister in the government of chief minister Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. He was unhappy with irrigation secretary PK Deb blacklisting a construction company. Bhati is said to have called Deb to his chamber in the secretariat where the bureaucrat stuck to his stand, citing rules.

Bhati got angry and allegedly slapped Deb. Though it did not become a big issue at the time, Bhati had to resign after the opposition Congress put pressure on the government.

Later a case was filed in the Ashok Nagar police station on December 6, 1997 and the investigation was handed over to the CID-CB. The case was put in cold storage with several officers investigating the case but no headway being made.

Eventually, the state human rights commission took cognizance of the case and sent two special reports to the government dated January 18, 2018 and August 19, 2019, asking that the case be winded up.

ADG CID-CB, BL Soni said, “Investigation in the case was done some years back but the file kept moving between officers. After the new government took over, it was decided to submit the chargesheet and it was presented in the court on October 11.”

Police have pressed charges under sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 334 (voluntarily causing hurt on provocation) of the IPC. The maximum punishment under these sections is imprisonment up to 10 years.