Chief Secretary rapped for filing defective affidavit in disproportionate assets case

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered a CBI probe against the Director-General of Police, V. Dinesh Reddy, on the allegations of acquiring disproportionate assets in his name and in the names of his family members.

A Bench of justices B.S. Chauhan and S.A. Bobde, however, made it clear that this should not be considered as expressing any opinion on the merits of the case. The Bench directed the State Chief Secretary to make the copies of the said sale deeds available to the CBI for investigation. “The CBI shall submit the status report to this court within four months,” the Bench said.

The Bench said: “The Central Government had asked the State Government to conduct an inquiry of the allegations in the said complaint which the State Government did not ensure compliance of. In spite of our order dated July 24 directing the Chief Secretary to file his personal affidavit as to whether any attempt had ever been made to find out the truth in the said allegations, the Chief Secretary filed a defective affidavit which does not reflect any light on the issue whatsoever.”

Writing the judgment, Justice Chauhan said: “We have no hesitation to hold that the Chief Secretary had the audacity not to ensure the compliance of the order of this court dated July 24, and we have no words to express our anguish and condemn the attitude adopted by the Chief Secretary.

More so, holding such a responsible post in the State, he must have some sense of responsibility and should have been aware of what are the minimum requirements of law, and even if he did not know he could have consulted any law officer of the State before filing the undated affidavit.”

The Bench said “Be that as it may, facts of the case warranted some enquiry in respect of the allegations of acquiring huge properties by Mr. V. Dinesh Reddy – respondent No.2.

The State took the courage to flout the order of the Central Government and did not look into the contents of the complaint and misdirected the enquiry against Umesh Kumar, appellant. In such a fact-situation, this court would not fail in its duty to direct the inquiry into those allegations.”

Case against Umesh Kumar

As regards the appellant Umesh Kumar, IPS officer, who was alleged to have forged the signature of a Member of Parliament in the complaint, the Bench said the case against him would proceed before the trial court.

The charge against the appellant Umesh Kumar was that he hatched a conspiracy and obtained the certified copies of the sale deeds which were in the name of different persons and filed a complaint in the fictitious name forging the signature of M.A. Khan, MP. While the Andhra Pradesh High Court quashed certain charges, it allowed the trial to continue in respect of certain charges. Mr. Umesh Kumar and the State filed cross appeals against this judgment.

The Bench, disposing of the appeals, said: “Admittedly, no attempt has ever been made by any person to hold the enquiry relating to the genuineness of the allegations in the complaint purported to have been signed by Mr. M.A. Khan. Even if the said complaint was in a fictitious name with a forged signature, the material annexed with the said complaint revealed that various properties had been purchased by the respondent No.2 (Mr. Dinesh Reddy), in his name or in the name of his wife or her General Power of Attorney holders.”

The Bench said: “The complaint may be forged or fabricated, but it is nobody’s case that the copies of sale deeds annexed along with the said complaint were not genuine.

It is a settled legal proposition that even if a document is procured by improper or illegal means, there is no bar to its admissibility if it is relevant and its genuineness is proved.”