SC to hear Uttarakhand CM’s plea against HC order in Feb last week

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New Delhi, Feb 8 (PTI) The Supreme Court Monday said it would hear in the last week of February a plea filed by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat who has challenged the state high court order for a CBI probe into corruption allegations against him.

The apex court had on October 29 last year stayed the high court order saying it was passed without hearing Rawat.

The corruption allegations, levelled by two journalists, pertained to alleged money transfer to the accounts of purported relatives of Rawat in 2016 to support the appointment of a person as head of 'Gau Seva Ayog' of Jharkhand when Rawat was the in-charge of BJP unit there.

Rawat has denied these allegations.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R S Reddy was hearing the pleas, including the appeal filed by Rawat against the high court's October 27 last year order.

“List the matters in the last week of February 2021 on a non-miscellaneous day. Liberty is also granted to file additional documents in the meanwhile,” the bench said in its order. While staying the high court order, the apex court had said that there was no prayer in the plea by the scribes to lodge an FIR against Rawat.

While issuing notices to the scribes and the state seeking their replies on Rawat’s plea in October last year, the top court had said, “In the meantime, direction issued by the High Court in paragraphs 155.6, 155.7 and 155.8 shall remain stayed.” In the paragraphs referred to by the top court in its order, the high court had directed the Superintendent of Police, CBI Dehradun, “to register an FIR on the basis of the allegations levelled” by the journalists and “investigate the case in accordance with law, with promptitude”.

The top court had also stayed the high court's direction asking handing over of the case file to the CBI SP within two days.

The apex court, however, had not stayed the part of high court order by which it had quashed the FIR lodged against the two scribes -- Umesh Sharma and Shiv Prasad Semwal -- in July last year under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code relating to sedition, cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy.

While quashing the FIR, the high court had ordered a CBI probe into the allegations levelled against Rawat.

The FIR against the scribes was lodged for posting a video on Facebook alleging that one Amritesh Chauhan from Jharkhand deposited money after demonetisation into the bank account of a couple, Harendra Singh Rawat and his wife Savita Rawat, who are allegedly related to the chief minister.

Harendra, a retired professor, had lodged the FIR at a police station in Dehradun against Sharma and also alleged that the journalist was blackmailing him. PTI ABA ABA RKS RKS