APSC CORRUPTION ROW
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Oct15: In a major blow to Assam Public Service Commission Chairman Rakesh Paul, the Gauhati High Court today directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct a prelimiry enquiry on charges of corruption and disproportiote assets held by him or his kith and kin.
The division bench of Chief Justice (Acting) K Sreedhar Rao and Justice PK Saikia delivered the ruling in an open court.
The HC also directed the CBI to include Rakesh Paul’s wife Sunda Paul, brother Rajeev Paul and one Sanjay Saha in the investigation.
However, much to the relief of Paul, the HC has made it clear that CBI shall not arrest him during the prelimiry enquiry — but he can be interrogated and upon completion of enquiry, the CBI shall submit a report to the court.
The High Court was not satisfied with the affidavit filed by Rakesh Paul in reply to the affidavit of Mukul Saikia, Superintendent of Police, Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, where the latter had given details of the disproportiote assets held by Paul & Co.
It may be mentioned that arguing the case, senior advocates PK Tiwari and Bhaskar Dev Konwar contended that only a prelimiry enquiry by CBI will restore the confidence upon a Constitutiol post like the Chairman APSC. They also stated that no prejudice would cause to the accused as he would have full opportunity to rebut the allegations of corruption without there being any threat of arrest.
Advocate General AC Buragohain on the other hand said that the Chief Minister has already directed for initiation of a prelimiry enquiry against the APSC Chairman.
The court also observed that the second affidavit filed by Mukul Saikia is not satisfactory, and said that ‘it seems he is acting under pressure for which he is seeking transfer to another place’. After perusal of the affidavits filed by the SP, the High Court observed that it is not desirable to allow prelimiry enquiry by him.