Delhi transport scam: special court to hear arguments on Dec 19
A New Delhi special court fixed December 19 as the date for hearing arguments on the appointment of special public prosecutor (SPP) in the Rs 100-crore transport scam case in Delhi. Special Judge Poonam Chaudhry, who had not received a copy of the High Court’s August 4 order on the powers of Delhi government and the Lieutenant Governor, put up the matter for the next date after advocate B S Joon who was notified as SPP by the AAP government submitted a certified copy of HC order to the court.
The court said it required time to go through the high court order and fixed the matter for hearing arguments on the appointment of SPP. The special court could not take up the matter thrice earlier due to non-receipt of the HC verdict. Before this, the matter came up before it on August 22, September 20 and October 19.
The high court in its August 4 verdict had set aside the special court’s earlier order turning down Delhi government’s notification appointing an SPP in the case.
While advocate Sanjay Kumar Gupta was appointed SPP by LG Najeeb Jung last year, advocate B S Joon was notified for the post by the AAP government. However, the special court had in September last year observed that the LG-appointed SPP would conduct proceedings in the matter, which was challenged by the Delhi government before the high court. The high court had held that the LG has to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers while exercising the power to appoint an SPP for any case. It had set aside the trial court’s September 7, 2015, order and directed the special judge to pass an appropriate order afresh in accordance with law.
The ruling assumes significance as, of late, various criminal matters, including the transport scam, in the high court and trial courts have witnessed heated arguments between prosecutors appointed by the Delhi government and the LG, as to who would represent the state or the police. The Anti-Corruption Branch of Delhi Government had on September 3 last year filed its charge sheet in the court naming nine persons, including two IAS officers, as accused in the transport scam case. The court is yet to take cognisance of the charge sheet.
The charge sheet was filed for offenses punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the IPC, including sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 420 (cheating), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.