However, it stayed attachment of his family's properties
The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay the investigation by the Mumbai Police Commissioner in the disproportionate assets case involving the former Mumbai Congress president, Kripashankar Singh. The apex court will now monitor the probe, as it has directed the PC, Arup Patnaik, to submit the investigation report to it.
But the court stayed the attachment of the properties of Mr. Kripashankar and his family in various parts of the country.
“Kripashankar Singh had appealed in the Supreme Court, pleading that the entire order of the [Bombay] High Court should be stayed,” Mihir Desai, senior advocate for the complainant on whose petition the Bombay High Court had ordered the prosecution, told The Hindu from New Delhi on Tuesday.
The Bombay High Court had ordered the prosecution of Mr. Kripashankar and his family members after a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition listed the disproportionate assets of the entire family running into crores of rupees. The court had directed Mr. Patnaik to investigate the charges and submit a report to it.
Mr. Kripashankar had moved the Supreme Court challenging the order.
“The Supreme Court said that the FIR [First Information Report] will remain and the investigation will continue. They had pleaded that there was no need for the Mumbai Police Commissioner to head the probe, but the court discarded it saying that he will continue heading it. The Supreme Court will now monitor the case,” Mr. Desai said.
But the court stayed the attachment of the family's properties. It is not clear if the properties already attached by the Mumbai Police will continue to remain attached.
“The court said that the only way to grant a stay on the attachment of the properties is that the family should give an affidavit that they will not alienate the property,” a lawyer who did not wish to be named, told The Hindu.
The family will now have to give an undertaking to the Supreme Court in three days saying it will not deal with the property in any manner which will create a third-party interest, a lawyer said.
The court also directed the police to conduct an independent probe. It referred to the directions given in the Bombay High Court's order stating that the police should consider the first report submitted by the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in March last year and should discard the second report submitted a few months later. “The Supreme Court said today [Tuesday] that let us not constrain the police by such orders. There should be independent investigation,” the lawyer said.
Keywords: disproportionate assets case