Spl DB takes serious note of inaction on complaint filed with Vigilance

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Oct 4: Special Division Bench of the State High Court constituted on the instructions of the Chief Justice M M Kumar today took serious note of State Vigilance Organization ‘sleeping’ over the complaint seeking registration of FIR against all those MLAs of Bharatiya Janata Party, who indulged in cross-voting in MLC elections for extraneous consideration, and directed the Senior Additional Advocate General to obtain instructions from SVO on the steps taken on the complaint and apprise the Bench about the same within a week’s time.
The Special Division Bench comprising Justice J P Singh and Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar was constituted especially to hear the Public Interest Litigation seeking CBI probe into cross-voting by the BJP MLAs in the MLC elections as the petitioner had moved a memo of urgency before the Chief Justice, M M Kumar.
The petitioner had made request before the Chief Justice for constitution of bench comprising Justice J P Singh and Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar on the ground that the Public Interest Litigation has already been heard partly by these Judges of the High Court.
As soon as the PIL was taken up for hearing, Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmad appearing for the petitioner submitted before the Special Division Bench that complaint seeking registration of FIR under Section 5(2) Prevention of Corruption Act and other relevant provisions of RPC and Representation of People’s Act against all those MLAs of BJP who for extraneous consideration indulged in cross voting in MLC elections was lodged with the Vigilance Commissioner on June 14, 2012 but even after the lapse of three and half months the Vigilance Organization has not taken any cognizance of the complaint.
“No headway has been made in the matter till today. In view of public importance attached with the issue, the probe is required to be monitored by this Court”, he further submitted while referring to judgements of Supreme Court of India and various High Courts which state that Courts can monitor the investigation in important cases.
“The Vigilance Organization is sleeping over the complaint as State was the beneficiary of cross-voting in the MLC elections”, Advocate Sheikh Shakeel said.
On the other hand, Senior Additional Advocate General, Gagan Basotra resisted the contentions of counsel for the PIL and submitted that there was no substance supporting the allegations of the petitioner. “There are only presumptions…. There is no material in support of complaint…something prima facie has to be there to take cognizance of the complaint”, the Senior AAG said.
Rejecting the arguments of Senior AAG, the Special Division Bench said, “the material in support of complaint will come up only during the course of investigation” and wanted to know from the Senior AAG as to whether the complaint discloses the commission of offence for taking cognizance.
“If the complaint establishes the commission of offence then register case otherwise leave it so that petitioner could explore other options”, the DB further said, adding “we want to know the specific stand of Vigilance Organization on the complaint. If no cognizance is taken in such type of complaints what type of impression the public will draw”.
After hearing arguments of both the sides, the Division Bench allowed the application filed by the petitioner and took on record the complaint lodged by Chairman SOS International, Rajiv Chuni seeking registration of FIR under Section 5(2) Prevention of Corruption Act and other relevant provisions of RPC against all those BJP MLAs, who for extraneous considerations indulged in cross voting on April 13, 2011, when elections were held for six seats of Legislative Council.
The DB directed Senior Additional Advocate General Gagan Basotra to obtain instructions from the State Vigilance Organization with regard to the steps taken by it on the petitioner’s complaint. While rejecting the Sr AAG’s submission for grant of reasonable time, the DB directed the Registry to list the Public Interest Litigation on October 11, 2012 along with an identical petition.
In the complaint filed before the Commissioner State Vigilance Organization it has been submitted by the petitioner that despite media expose and proven cross-voting on extraneous considerations, no investigation was ordered because the ruling alliance was the beneficiary of the cross voting.
The BJP’s high command has fixed the responsibility against seven MLAs only after getting the matter enquired into. Prior to the election held on April 13, 2011 some key functionaries of the ruling alliance played a pivotal role to purchase the BJP MLAs and those key functionaries were in regular touch with the BJP MLAs promising them green pastures, the complaint said, adding “whatever came in the media was just a tip of an ice-berg and a thorough investigation would unearth this cross-voting scam and many heads, who facilitated the illegal victory of the candidates belonging to the ruling coalition by indulging in corrupt practices, are likely to roll.
Pointing towards the statement of State BJP president, Shamsher Singh Manhas that State Government used secret funds meant for dealing with militancy and subversive activities to lure the MLAs of BJP, the complainant said that the call details of all 11 MLAs of BJP and Council of Ministers are required to be examined particularly for the period between April 1, 2011 and April 14, 2011.
“The bank accounts of all the 11 MLAs of BJP and their family members are also required to be examined. Besides this, all MLAs of BJP are required to be subjected to Brain Mapping/Narco Test so that truth comes out and the guilty MLAs are brought to book”, the complainant further said while requesting the Vigilance Commissioner to constitute Special Investigation Team to initiate the investigation so that scam is unearthed and guilty are punished.

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