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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

ACB to move Delhi HC against Speaker’s order declining prosecution sanction against AAP MLA

The Delhi government’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) has decided to move the High Court against Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel’s order declining prosecution sanction against AAP MLA S.K. Bagga in a corruption case being investigated by it, said an official source on Tuesday.

Bagga, the MLA from Krishna Nagar in east Delhi, is accused of seeking bribe from an AAP worker Raju Sachdeva on various pretexts on different occasions. However, when the ACB, which is investigating the case, approached the Speaker seeking prosecution sanction against Bagga, after going through the due diligence of investigative procedures, he refused to grant it, in an obvious attempt to save Bagga, the source added.

“Goel, in complete and blatant disregard of evidence verified substantively by the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), sweepingly left Bagga off the hook by resorting to a partisan and questionable personal ‘wisdom’,” the source claimed.

In his complaint dated November 9, 2015, Sachdeva had alleged that Bagga took Rs 11,000, Rs 21,000 and Rs 25,000 from him many times and promised to get him a ticket from the AAP in the 2017 MCD elections. Thereafter, Bagga allegedly demanded Rs 2 lakh and again Rs 1 lakh from Sachdeva, but when he refused, Bagga asked him how he would contest the election if he was in such poor financial state.

Again in November 2015, Bagga had told him to organise a Diwali programme at Gandhi Park, New Govindpura, where he would get Arvind Kejriwal as the Chief Guest, and demanded Rs 5 lakh for this. When he did not pay the demanded Rs 5 lakh, Bagga refused to get Kejriwal as the Chief Guest, as per the source.

However, Sachdeva who had recorded the entire telephonic conversation with Bagga, handed over the same to Kejriwal, but no action was taken by him. Later, Sachdeva gave the audio recording to ACB, which registered an FIR on March 9, 2018, under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code.

During the course of investigation, voice samples of both Bagga and Sachdeva were taken by ACB and sent to FSL, Rohini, for examination.

The FSL report confirmed that the audio recordings were genuine and Bagga’s voice sample matched with the audio recording. Accordingly, the ACB, on March 23, 2022, sought the permission of the competent authority i.e. the Assembly Speaker, for prosecuting Bagga under the PC Act, but he declined.

The matter was, thereafter, referred to the Law Department and it advised the Speaker’s order be challenged before the Delhi High Court after seeking the LG’s approval. The matter was subsequently placed before the CVO, who directed to place the matter before the Lt Governor for approval of the move to appeal.

The Lt. Governor has accordingly granted his approval to proceed with filing of appeal in the court against denial of prosecution sanction in the case.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)

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