“Court Cannot Simply Shut Its Eyes”: Allahabad HC While Directing CBI To Register Bribe Case Against Former UP Ayush Minister
The Allahabad High Court, Lucknow Bench has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to file a case and investigate the charge of taking a bribe against former Uttar Pradesh Ayush Minister Dharam Singh Saini saying that the Court cannot simply shut its eyes.
A Single Bench of Justice Rajeev Singh observed, “After looking such wrongdoings by the authorities for admission in UG and PG courses and that too, in the name of compliance of the order of the Hon’ble Apex Court, depriving the eligible students; as also finding grave lapses on the part of the Investigating Agency, which may have fatal consequences on the justice delivery system, this Court cannot simply shut its eyes. … In such circumstances, while exercising the inherent powers conferred by Article 226 of the Constitution of India read with Section 482 Cr.P.C., this Court directs the Director, CBI, New Delhi to register a case on the statement of Dr. Umakant recorded under Section 161 Cr.P.C. in the present case, as mentioned in para 17 of this order (part of CD 20) and to conduct an investigation in relation to the allegations made by Dr. Umakant in relation to mal-practice adopted in the admission process of UG and PG courses in Ayush Department, in the year 2019.”
The Bench was dealing with a matter relating to the allegations made in relation to malpractice adopted in the admission process of UG and PG courses in the Ayush Department in the year 2019.
Senior Advocate I.B. Singh appeared for the applicant while AGA Rao Narendra Singh appeared for the State.
A bail plea was filed by the applicant who was a renowned lady doctor in connection to the offences under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471, and 120-B of the IPC and Section 66D of the Information Technology Act. As per the prosecution case, the State Government issued a Government Order for online counselling of the NEET 2021 Examination in relation to Ayush Department (Ayurveda, Unani, and Homoeopathy) colleges for the courses of BAMS/BUMS/BHMS for the academic Session 2021-22.
The aforesaid Government Order, while providing the procedure for allotment of colleges to the students through online counselling, constituted a Board for the purpose. The applicant submitted before the Court that she was falsely implicated in the fake admissions case with respect to the said NEET Exam.
The High Court after hearing the contentions of the counsel noted, “Though, in the letter dated 07.12.2021 (supra), there was no provision that Uptron Company will engage some other Company for the aforesaid online counselling, the Uptron company engaged another company, i.e., V-3 Soft Solution Pvt. Ltd., which in turn, executed agreement with other company for the purpose, i.e., M/s. Techno Ocean IT Solution Pvt. Ltd. … Surprisingly, in place of conducting online counselling, it was conducted offline, which was not provided in the Government Order. From the record, it is further evident that the interest of the private colleges was to get admission of the students in their colleges and that their seats should not fall vacant for the academic year.”
The Court further held that the applicant is entitled to be released on bail and hence directed that she shall be released on furnishing a personal bond. The Court, however, noted that Dr. Umakant stated earlier in the year 2019 that malpractice was adopted in the admission process and huge money was taken from the colleges, in the name of allotment of students for PG courses.
“The Investigating Officer did not dispute the contents of the statement of Dr. Umakant mentioned in the aforesaid parcha. … From a bare perusal of the aforesaid statement given by Dr. Umakant Singh, it is evident that huge money was usurped by various persons in admission process of the year 2019, in the name of compliance of the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The Investigating Officer present before this Court at the time of argument, accepted that the allegations levelled by Dr. Umakant, quoted above, which are undoubtedly very serious, were not verified from any senior Officers of the Government”, said the Court.
The Court observed that serious allegations were levelled against the Senior Officers of the State Government as well as its Minister and that the sanctity of such a statement needs thorough investigation.
Accordingly, the Court granted bail to the accused.
Cause Title- Dr. Ritu Garg v. State of U.P. (Neutral Citation: 2023:AHC-LKO:36995)