JAMMU, Nov 16: High Court today dismissed a petition filed by Major General VK Sharma seeking quashment of charges framed by the Special Judge CBI Jammu in corruption case.
After hearing Senior Advocate Sunil Sethi with Advocate Ravi Abrol for the petitioner whereas Advocate Monika Kohli for the CBI, Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta observed, “the question required to be seen in the present case is whether there was a need for Special Judge to follow this procedure or not. Undoubtedly, the Special Judge was required to follow this procedure in case the petitioner was subject to dual jurisdiction of a court-martial as well as of an ordinary criminal court”.
“The petitioner though was subject to the Army Act when this FIR was lodged against him and was allowed to be investigated by CBI, but he was not subject to the Army Act when the cognizance of an offence was taken by the Special Judge. Challan in this case was presented on 5.8.2014 and the charges were framed on 31.3.2015. By then, the petitioner had already been retired from service on 30.4.2014 as per pleading in petition”, High Court further observed.
High Court further said, “on the date he was produced before the Special Judge, he was not subject to the Army Act. Reference here may be made to the provisions of Section 2 (2) of the Army Act, which clearly provide that person who is subject to the Act under any of the clauses (a) to (g) shall remain so subject until duly retired, discharged, released etc. Thus, the subjection of the person to the Act in view of any of the Clauses (a) to (g) of the Army Act of section 2 would cease on his retirement”.
Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta further observed that the court while exercising the power under revision cannot stifle the legitimate prosecution. “This is a supervisory power vested in High Court to correct illegality or incorrectness in the order of subordinate court. High Court cannot re-examine evidence in detail to see as to whether charge for alleged offence is made put or not”, Justice Gupta said while dismissing the petition and vacating the interim stay.
According to the CBI case, the complainant Inder Singh, allegedly, gave money to the accused, as demanded by him for the reinstatement of his firm, which had earlier been removed. He filed the complaint before Lt General KT Parnaik, who constituted a team of Lt General BS Pama, Chief of Staff, Head Quarter, Northern Command and Deputy Provost Marshal, Col AS Sehgal. This team also took accused Lt General VK Sharma with them to his office for the search. He was asked to open the drawer of his table, the key of which were in possession of accused himself. A brown coloured envelope containing Rs 5000 was recovered upon the search of the drawer. From the brief case of the accused an envelope containing Rs 35,000 was also recovered.