Jodhpur, Sep 21 (PTI) The Rajasthan High Court will hear on Tuesday pleas by former Disinvestment Secretary Pradeep Baijal and two others, challenging a trial court’s order to prosecute them for various offences in the sale of Udaipur’s Laxmi Vilas Palace hotel at a sum of Rs 7.52 crore, allegedly causing a loss of Rs 244 crore to the public exchequer.
Baijal along with Lazard India Limited’s MD Ashish Guha and Bharat Hotels Limited’s director Jyotsana Suri moved the high court on Monday, seeking quashing of the special CBI court's order which directed their trial for offences of cheating, criminal conspiracy and misuse of official position.
“We have moved the high court with a criminal revision petition for quashing of the trial court's order,” said counsel Nishant Bora, who is representing Baijal with senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi in the Jodhpur bench of the high court.
The petitions of the three accused would be heard by a single-judge bench of Justice Dinesh Mehta here in Jodhpur on Tuesday.
Former Disinvestment Minister Arun Shouri facing arrest in the case too has moved the high court for a stay on the warrant against him but his petition is yet to be listed for hearing.
The hearing on various petitions is to take place through video conferencing.
A fifth accused, Kantilal Karmsey, the owner of the valuer firm Kanti Karamsey and Company, however, has not yet moved the court for any relief.
The CBI court had earlier rejected a closure report of the central investigation agency and ordered it to probe the case afresh.
The lower court subsequently ordered the prosecution of five in the case on the basis of the CBI's fresh probe report.
The CBI earlier in its preliminary enquiry report in 2014 had accused the five persons of selling the hotel for a meagre sum of Rs 7.52 crore by heavily under-pricing it and causing a loss of Rs 244 crores to the government.
But the CBI subsequently filed its closure report in the court in August 2019 stating that there was nothing wrong in the disinvestment process of Laxmi Vilas Palace Hotel of Udaipur.
The trial court had also given directions to the Udaipur district magistrate to immediately attach the Laxmi Vilas Palace Hotel and appoint a receiver by completely taking over the charge of its operations. PTI CORR RAX RAX