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No contempt proceeding against CBI officials: HC

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today said no contempt proceedings were made out against CBI officials, including the investigating officer, in a graft case against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s principal secretary Rajendra Kumar and others.

Rajendra Kumar, Principal Secretary to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has been arrested by CBI in a corruption case.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar .

A bench of justices Gita Mittal and Anu Malhotra passed the order while declining a special CBI judge’s reference sent to the high court for initiation of contempt proceedings against the investigating officer, DSP Jayant Kashmiri and others.

The special CBI judge had sent the reference in the wake of CBI’s March 11, 2016 reply filed in response to an application by Endeavour Systems Pvt Ltd, which was alleged to have received contracts at the behest of Kumar, who had purportedly favoured it by abusing his official position.

CBI, in its reply, had quoted a portion of a high court ruling and the special judge was of the view that the inclusion was made to “scandalise” the authority of the trial court.

Disagreeing with the CBI judge, the high court has said, “The reference was misconceived and untenable. No proceedings under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 against the officials of the CBI as recommended by the reference order dated April 5, 2016 are warranted.”

The high court said in the case in hand, CBI has not criticised any order of the trial judge.

“The reproduction of an extract of a judgment of the higher court, even if irrelevant, would not per se be treated as contumacious (stubbornly or wilfully disobedient to authority),” the bench said.

It was of the view that the case “highlights the strong need to undertake judicial education on the procedural aspects as well as nuances of Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 as well as the fine and clear distinction between libelous and contumacious conduct”.

“We are of the view that this aspect deserves to be brought to the notice of the Delhi Judicial Academy for initiating an intensive programme in this area of law,” the court said.

On December 15, 2015, the CBI had raided the office of Rajendra Kumar, close to the Chief Minister’s office here, in connection with the case.
According to the CBI, Rajender Kumar had played “an

active role in the process of promising and facilitating award of tender to a pre-determined party i.E., M/s Endeavour Systems Pvt Ltd due to extraneous considerations and devoid of public interest which shows clear element of abuse of official position and criminal conspiracy among the accused persons including the Directors of the present applicant company.”

CBI had registered a case against Kumar and others on the allegations against the officer that he had abused his official position by favouring the firm in the last few years in getting tenders from Delhi government departments.

Kumar has been booked under section 120-B of IPC (criminal conspiracy), and the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly favouring the company in five contracts worth Rs 9.5 crore during 2007-14.

PTI

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