Rejects CBI closure report; “no probe into how many such schools faced action”
A special court here has rejected the contentions of a CBI report seeking closure of investigation against unauthorised motor driving training schools (MDTS) allegedly being run by relatives of some Delhi Government Transport Department officials and instead ordered further investigation into the matter.
After perusing the closure report, Special Judge Sanjiv Jain pointed out four reasons why the matter should be re-investigated. Mr. Jain noted that though the closure report indicated that action was taken in a few cases by the Transport Department through challaning the vehicles being used by some of the unauthorised MDTS, there was no “detailed investigation” on how many of such MDTS was action taken on and how many were let off.
In his second point, the judge said though the report revealed that ten unauthorised MDTS were being found to be run by relatives of officials of the Transport Department and “deficiencies” were found in respect of issuance/renewal of licences to them, the CBI concluded that these deficiencies were a “minor lapse/omissions”. “There is no detailed investigation whether the other MDTS not related to officials of the Transport Department or otherwise were treated in the same manner in respect of similar lapses/omissions. Detailed investigation can reveal if there is any discriminatory approach by the Transport Department officials. If action has been taken in respect of other MDTS (not related to the relatives of the Transport Department) for the same lapses/omissions/deficiencies, it may clearly establish the abuse of official position by the public servants in connivance with the private persons.”
Thirdly, the judge opined that though the closure report said the matter was referred to the Delhi Government for taking action against officials of the Transport Department found involved in violation of rules while issuing/renewing the licences to such MDTS, there was “no clue whether any action was in fact taken by the authorities; and if so in what nature?”
The judge's fourth contention for ordering re-investigation was that the number of unauthorised MDTS found operational without any licences indicated that “such large number of violations probably cannot be without misuse of official position by public servants of the Transport Department and their connivance with the owners of such MDTS”.
The judge said: “In the opinion of the investigating officer, the lapses/omissions on the part of officials of the Transport Department were due to negligence or casual approach. Keeping in view the circumstances of the case, in my opinion, the investigating agency requires reconsideration of entire material in the light of the investigation already conducted or may collect further evidence.”
The CBI had registered a preliminary enquiry in August 2007, 14 days after a High Court order on the matter, following which an FIR was registered in 2008 alleging that nine unauthorised MDTS were being run by relatives of the Transport Department officials and licences to these MDTS were given on the basis of incorrect inspection reports.
The CBI in its closure report said “despite the best efforts no concrete evidence” could be collected to establish criminal connivance between the Transport Department officials and MDTS owners, or criminal misconduct on the part of officials of the Transport Department in respect of issuance/renewal of licences.
Claiming that the case was not a “prosecutable” one, the CBI added: “No evidence could be collected to link any Transport Department official for showing undue favour by abusing their official position while issuing or renewing the licences to their relatives. It was observed that relevant rules do not restrict the issue of licences to the relatives of officials of the Transport Department. Minor procedural lapses or negligence were found on the part of various officials of the Transport Department which is insufficient to make it a prosecutable case.”