Uttarakhand Chief Minister TS Rawat has got relief from the Supreme Court, which put on hold the High Court order of a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into corruption allegations against him."The High Court exercised its suo motu powers when there was no issue raised by the petitioner. The Chief Minister was not a party and such a drastic order has been passed and everyone was taken by surprise by the order," the top court said.
The High Court verdict came on October 27 in response to two petitions filed by journalists Umesh Sharma and Shiv Prasad Semwal.
The journalists had sought the cancellation of a First Information Report lodged against them in July. The case was filed after one of the journalists, Umesh Sharma, alleged in social media post that a man from Jharkhand had deposited money into the bank account of a couple related to Chief Minister after demonetisation.
The man, Amritesh Chauhan, had deposited money into the bank account of Harendra Singh Rawat and his wife Savita Rawat for the personal benefit of Chief Minister, the post had claimed. This allegedly took place in 2016 when Mr Rawat was the in-charge of the BJP in Jharkhand, the post alleged,
While cancelling the FIR against the journalists, the high court ordered a CBI probe into the allegations levelled against Chief Minister Rawat.
"The High Court should have understood that this order could be destabilizing the government," Attorney General KK Venugopal who was representing the Chief Minister, told the Supreme Court.
"The order of the High Court is also against the principle of natural justice... There are many old decisions that an inquiry cannot be ordered against anyone without hearing it," he added.