The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay the framing of charges against former Union Minister C.K. Jaffer Sharief by a special CBI Court in connection with a 1995 corruption case.
A bench of justices P. Sathasivama and J. Chelameswar, while refusing to stay the lower court procedure after which the formal trial of an accused begins, posted Mr. Sharief’s appeal for further hearing to July 4.
Appearing for Mr. Sharief, senior counsel Rajiv Dutta, in his brief submission, sought his discharge, claiming that he was innocent and no prior sanction was obtained by the CBI from the government to prosecute him, as mandated by section 197 of the CrPC for prosecution of a public servant.
The case dated back to 1995 when Mr. Sharief, as a Union minister had gone to London for medical treatment allegedly taking four others on the trip unauthorised and causing a loss of Rs. 7 lakh to the exchequer.
Mr. Sharief has come to the apex court against an April 11 order of the Delhi High Court, dismissing his plea challenging a trial court’s decision to reject a CBI closure report in the corruption case against him and prosecute him instead.
Rejecting the CBI closure report, the trial court had proceeded with Mr. Sharief’s prosecution for his culpability in unauthorisedly taking along with him four persons to London during his tenure as minister.
The CBI had filed the closure report in the case for want of official sanction to prosecute him, but the trial court had proceeded against him despite that.
The high court had rejected Mr. Sharief’s plea saying his act did not require sanction under the CrPC to try him for offences under the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act.