Published On: Wed, Jan 13th, 2016

HC quashes order sanctioning prosecution of IRS officer

New Delhi: IRS officer Ashok Kumar Aggarwal today got relief from the Delhi High Court which quashed the government’s order granting sanction to prosecute him in two 18-year old cases relating to alleged framing of a businessman in a FERA case and graft, saying the CBI probe “smacks of intentional mischief”.

Delhi High Court quashed the prosecution sanction against IRS officer Ashok Kumar Aggarwal.

Delhi High Court quashed the prosecution sanction against IRS officer Ashok Kumar Aggarwal.

The controversial 1985-batch Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer was suspended on December 28, 1999 after the CBI registered two cases against him – one for allegedly framing businessman Subhash Chandra Barjatya in a FERA (Foreign Exchange Regulation Act) violation case and the other for allegedly amassing more than Rs 250 crore by blackmailing leading industrialists of north India.

While making strong comments on the manner in which the probe against Aggarwal had been carried out since 1998, Justice Siddharth Mridul also quashed the chargesheet and the charges framed against the then Deputy Director of Enforcement Directorate (Delhi Zone), under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

“I am compelled to comment on the manner in which the investigation in the subject case has been carried out. The investigation smacks of intentional mischief to misdirect the investigation as well as withhold material evidence which would exonerate the petitioner (Aggarwal).

“These proceedings asseverate to be a glaring case of suggestio falsi, suppressio veri (suppression of the truth and the expression of what is false), and hence mala fide. It does not seem to be merely a case of faulty investigation but is seemingly an investigation coloured with motivation or an attempt to ensure that certain persons can go scot free,” the judge said.

The conduct of the CBI brings to mind a paraphrase of the oft-quoted aphorism by George Orwell that ‘all men are equal, but some are more equal than others’, the court said.

“He has endured suffering, humiliation and considerable trauma. A sense of dubiety has persisted qua the petitioner since long which reminds one of the lyrics in the famous song by Bob Dylan, who said, ‘How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man’,” Justice Mridul said.

The alleged case against Aggarwal had come to light with the arrest of businessman and controversial arms dealer Abhishek Verma.

PTI

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