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Supreme Court stays Uttarakhand High Court nod for CBI probe against Uttarakhand CM

A file photo of Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.  

The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed a Uttarakhand High Court order directing a CBI probe into corruption allegations against Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.

A Bench, led by Justice Ashok Bhushan, said it was too “drastic” for the High Court to have passed such an order without giving Mr. Rawat an opportunity of hearing.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, appearing for Mr. Rawat, said the order “caught everyone by surprise” and was against the principles of natural justice.

The case pertains to corruption allegations levelled by two journalists —Umesh Sharma and Shiv Prasad Semwal — pertaining to money transferred allegedly into the accounts of relatives of Mr. Rawat in 2016 to support appointment of a person as head of “Gau Seva Ayog” of Jharkhand when he was the in-charge of Jharkhand BJP unit.

Justice Bhushan said even the State was not arraigned as a party before the court.

Mr. Venugopal said the order could even unsettle the government. The top law officer said the Chief Minister was bound to be heard.

The High Court was entirely wrong in law when it said that it could direct lodging of an FIR without hearing the party. The High Court cannot be oblivious that it would result in the unsettling of the government, Mr. Venugopal argued.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the two journalists, said he was not opposing the stay order but there was ample evidence in support of the corruption allegation against Mr. Rawat.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 9:58:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sc-stays-hc-order-for-cbi-probe-against-uttarakhand-cm-on-corruption-allegations/article32971170.ece

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