A Delhi court on Saturday cleared decks for prosecution of hotelier S P Gupta by allowing the city government to withdraw its earlier plea to seek quashing of three FIRs against him allegedly at the behest of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.
“The court is of the considered view that nothing preclude prosecution from withdrawing its earlier plea for withdrawal of prosecution,” Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Manish Yaduvanshi said.
The Delhi government, which earlier sought withdrawal of cases against Mr. Gupta allegedly at behest of Mr. Chidambaram and the Home Ministry, later took a u-turn and wanted to prosecute him following a furore in and out of the Parliament on the issue.
“Application of State dated December 12, 2011 (to pursue cases against S P Gupta) stands allowed,” it said.
The city government, on December 15, moved a fresh plea seeking withdrawal of its earlier application in which it had favoured withdrawal of FIRs saying “no case was made out”.
The court also rejected plea of Mr. Gupta that complainant VLS Finance has no right to be heard and fixed the matter for hearing on March 7.
Earlier, the city government changed its stand and told the court that there was sufficient evidence to pursue cases against Mr. Gupta.
“After thorough examination of case file and evidence on record, I found that there is sufficient evidence against the accused persons,” the public prosecutor had said.
The government had filed three separate applications stating that in each of the cases there was sufficient material to go ahead with the prosecution.
Earlier applications of city government for withdrawal of cases against Mr. Gupta, who runs Sunair Hotels Pvt Ltd, had snowballed into a controversy with BJP accusing Chidambaram of favouring his former client.
Mr. Chidambaram, however, strongly rejected the allegations that he favoured the Delhi-based hotelier in withdrawing three FIRs filed against him and dismissed suggestions there was any conflict of interest involved in it.
Three cases were lodged against Mr. Gupta on complaints filed by Delhi-based firm VLS Finance for alleged fraud, forgery and deceit.
The FIR against Mr. Gupta has been filed under various sections of IPC relating to charges of criminal breach of trust, fraudulently preventing debt being available for creditors, forgery, forgery of valuable security and criminal conspiracy.