The High Court of Karnataka has declined to stay a criminal case registered against Zameer Ahmed Khan, Congress MLA, on the charge of allegedly possessing disproportionate assets to the tune of ₹87.44 crore, which is said to be 2031% excess of his total income from all known sources of income.
“At this stage the court cannot go into merits of the case, that is whether the investigating officer not considered the sale deed executed by the petitioner and receiving the sale consideration or not. Therefore, I am of the view, the further investigation against the petitioner cannot be stayed at this stage,” said Justice K. Natarajan in his interim order passed on April 6.
It was contended on behalf of Mr. Zameer that the First Information Report (FIR) registered against him by the Lokayukta police was legally not maintainable.
It was argued on his behalf that the Lokayukta police had failed to follow the Supreme Court’s guidelines on investigation in corruption cases, as the FIR was registered without collecting source report on the assets, placing the source report before the higher officer and obtaining permission for registration of FIR.
However, counsel for the Lokayukta police said that the information on disproportionate assets was received from the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is already probing a money laundering case against the MLA.
The Lokayukta police, on verifying the information and documents received from the ED, found it fit to register a FIR and there was no need to get preliminary source report in this circumstance, counsel for the Lokayukta police contended.
The court said that the contentions raised on behalf of the MLA cannot be considered at this stage, and adjourned further hearing on the petition filed by Mr. Zameer questioning the legality of registration of FIR.