High Court Extends Stay On Trial Court Proceedings In CNG Fitness Scam

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High Court Extends Stay On Trial Court Proceedings In CNG Fitness Scam

The Delhi High Court has extended the stay on trial court proceedings in the CNG fitness scam till January 22.

New Delhi:  The Delhi High Court on Thursday extended till January 22 the stay on trial court proceedings in the CNG fitness scam till it decides who will prosecute the case.

Justice Ashutosh Kumar extended the interim stay on a plea filed by the AAP government challenging the trial court's nod to LG appointed special prosecutor to conduct the case.

It also issued fresh notice to advocate Sanjay Kumar Gupta, the LG-appointed special public prosecutor (SPP), to respond to the allegations that his appointment was invalid.

The court, however, refused to pass any order on Delhi government's request to transfer the plea before a division bench, which is hearing a total of seven cases arising out of the spat between the LG and the Delhi government.

It said it cannot pass an order without hearing the SPP, as he should "not feel that any order was passed behind his back and without hearing him".

In its plea, AAP government, through its senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra, has pointed out that it had the sole authority to appoint a prosecutor under CrPC since criminal law was the state's preserve.

However to frustrate its prosecution in the scam, the LG nominated another public prosecutor for the trial through a "mere" inter-departmental note which cannot override CrPC, it said while challenging the trial court's decision to overlook its SPP B S Joon in favour of Gupta.

The special court had last year turned down AAP government's notification appointing Joon in the Rs 100 crore transport scam case, observing that the LG-appointed SPP would conduct proceedings in the matter.

The court had dismissed an application filed by Joon who said that being appointed by Delhi government, he was entitled to conduct prosecution of the case in which Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) had filed chargesheet last week.

His plea for supply of documents was not accepted by the court, which had noted that "the application filed by B S Joon is dismissed in view of Article 239AA of the Constitution (special provisions with respect to Delhi)."

The ACB had on September 3, 2015 filed its chargesheet in the court naming nine persons, including two IAS officers, as accused in the case.

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