Allahabad HC dismisses CBI officer’s plea to quash PE against him

New Delhi: The Allahabad High Court has rejected a CBI officer’s plea seeking to quash a preliminary enquiry registered against him by the agency on a complaint from an MNC.

CBI Director Alok Verma already gave nod to registered a preliminary enquiry against Superintendent of Police Sudhanshu Kumar Khare.

The court has also imposed costs of Rs 10,000 on him.

The case pertains to a CBI preliminary enquiry registered against Superintendent of Police Sudhanshu Kumar Khare, posted in the agency’s Special Crime unit in Lucknow, on the complaint of Whirlpool India Limited in January.

Whirpool India had alleged that when Khare was posted at Ranchi during 2013 to 2017, he had “generated a false and anonymous” complaint against the company to pressure its executives into taking back his brother into service.

The agency had in January registered a preliminary enquiry against Khare after the CBI Director gave the nod. The case is being probed by an ASP-level officer in Delhi.

Khare had moved the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court, claiming that he had not violated any provisions of the CBI (Crime) Manual 2005 and had not committed any act of misconduct, either civil or criminal.

He said that he had only gathered information and his brother had resigned from Whirlpool India Ltd. on January 5, 2016. Therefore, there was no question of pursuing the case of his brother.

He said that unless a fact-finding inquiry in the matter is brought to its conclusion, a PE cannot be registered.

Khare said he had written to the CBI Director about the alleged bias against him on the part of senior officers and had pleaded for not acting on their recommendation.

The CBI, however, decided to go ahead with the preliminary enquiry.

After hearing the arguments of both the sides, a high court bench noted that Khare had received information regarding “fake employment” of one Vinay Kumar, which was entered into the complaint register.

The bench said the CBI manual states that no action should be taken in case of anonymous complaints, but Khare collected information and summoned the officers of Whirlpool India Ltd.

He also sent sub-ordinate officers to collect information about Kumar, which was an action in respect of a private company for which the petitioner was not authorised at all, the bench said.

It appears that the petitioner “misused his official position” while entering such an arena which otherwise is not permissible under the law.

He tried to misuse his position in the office, which is required to be ascertained during the course of preliminary enquiry against him, the bench said.

The ground on which the registration of the preliminary enquiry has been challenged has “no substance and neither it is sustainable under the law”, it said.

“The registration of the preliminary enquiry, therefore, is valid,” it said.