Supreme Court on Wednesday has served a notice to the Chhattisgarh government over a plea filed by a witness in the Public Distribution System scam amounting Rs 36,000 crore alleging that all the endeavors are made to derail the proceedings of the case in the trial court.
The court has also issued notice to the state’s agencies including Economic Offences Wing, Anti Corruption Bureau, and Special Investigation Team. Besides that, the court has also served notice to the two prime accused bureaucrats involved in the Alok Shukla and Anil Tuteja.
“Issue notice, returnable in four weeks, in the writ petition as also in the application for stay,” stated the bench. The respondents are directed to submit their replies within four weeks.
A three-judge bench comprising of Justice Rohinton F Nariman, Justice Navin Sinha, and Justice Indira Banerjee heard the plea filed by a witness Girish Sharma, an employee of Chhattisgarh State Civil Supplies Corporation in Raipur.
Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani and Advocate Ravi Sharma on behalf of Girish Sharma, has filed a petition seeking transfer of trial, monitoring by the top court, and directions to the Chhattisgarh government to restrain from taking any coercive action against him.
“The petitioner is a crucial witness, in the multi-crore, Civil Supplies Scam, infamously known as NAN Scam and has been constrained to invoke the writ jurisdiction of this Court against malafide actions of the Respondent No. 1-State…has since Dec, 2018 been unrelentingly been making attempts to frustrate the trial,” said the plea.
The Economic Offences Investigation (EOI) and Anti-corruption Bureau, Raipur, Chhattisgarh had raided different district offices and residents of the officers of Chhattisgarh State Civil Supplies Corporation Chhattisgarh State Warehousing Corporation including its headquarter at Raipur and had registered a case against the officers.
Enforcement Directorate had also registered a money laundering case against two IAS officers in connection to the scam.
Ravi Sharma in the petition mentioned, “There had been relentless attempts by Chhattisgarh government since December 2018 (after Congress party came to power) where the witnesses were hounded to turn hostile while espousing the cause of two prime accused senior bureaucrats Alok Shukla and Anil Tuteja.”
“The witnesses who testified under Section 164 of CrPC attributing the roles of both the IAS officers, had after the formation of SIT by the state government, unexpectedly turned hostile except for Girish Sharma, who was then personal assistant to Tuteja,” said the plea.