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Law

Allahabad HC Turns Down Plea to Quash FIR Against BSP Ex-Minister in Monument Scam

Babu Singh Kushwaha had sought quashing of the FIR, contending that it had been about seven years but the probe was not yet concluded.

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Lucknow: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has declined to quash an FIR involving ex-BSP minister Babu Singh Kushwaha and others in connection with the Rs 1,410 crore monument scam during Mayawati’s regime.

The bench, however, directed the investigating agency to expeditiously conclude the probe in the case preferably within four weeks.

A bench of Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice Saroj Yadav passed the order on the writ petition filed by Kushwaha.

The petitioner had sought quashing of the FIR, contending that it had been about seven years but the probe was not yet concluded. Kushwaha pleaded there was no material against him for implicating him in the case and that the FIR was lodged in 2014 after the Lokayukta report during Akhilesh Yadav-led SP regime.

In its order, the bench said, “Considering the allegations made in the FIR and material brought on record, it cannot be said that no prima facie case is made out against the petitioner, rather, there appears to be sufficient ground for investigation in the matter. Accordingly, we do not find any justification to quash the impugned FIR.”

On the plea that the investigation was being made to linger unnecessarily, keeping the sword hanging on him, the bench said , “We direct the investigating officer to conclude the investigation of the present case and file a police report before the court concerned, in accordance with law, expeditiously, preferably within a period of four weeks from the date of production of a certified copy of this order.”

The petitioner’s lawyer, Salil Srivastav, had argued that for the last seven years the investigating agency could not find any evidence against the petitioner and that the allegation made in the FIR with regard to construction of monuments was controlled by the Ministry of Public Works Department and the petitioner had no concern with the work as the allocation of the ministry had never been given to the petitioner.

It was also argued that Kushwaha was not a beneficiary as no financial transaction was ever made at his end. “The petitioner had no direct or indirect connection with the Public Works Department,” added Salil.

Opposing the plea, Additional Government Advocate S.N. Tilhari said that there was ample evidence on record against Kushwaha and hence, the FIR cannot be set aside.

The order was passed on August 27, but was uploaded on Tuesday.