New Delhi, Mar 15 (PTI) Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav has approached the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of summons issued to him by the CBI for appearing before it in connection with a case related to the alleged land-for-job scam.
The petition is listed for hearing on Thursday before Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma.
RJD supremo and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav's son Tejashwi Yadav in his plea said section 160 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), under which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has issued the summons, states that notices for appearance of a person should be within the local jurisdiction of a police station or within the adjoining police station of the place the person is located.
He said he is a resident of Patna in Bihar and he has been asked to join the investigation in Delhi which is neither within the jurisdiction of Patna nor adjoining the same.
The case relates to alleged appointments made in the railways in return for land parcels gifted or sold to Lalu Prasad's family when he was railway minister between 2004 and 2009. The CBI, in its charge sheet, alleged that irregular appointments were made in the railways, violating laid down norms and procedures of the Indian Railways for recruitment.
"The petitioner (Tejashwi Yadav) is currently holding a Constitutional post as he is serving as the deputy chief minister of Bihar, the minister of health, minister of road construction and public works department, minister of urban development and housing as well as the minister of rural works and development in the Bihar government and is thus, a public servant within a meaning of Section 2(c) of the Prevention and Corruption Act, 1988," the petition filed on Monday said.
"Presently, the petitioner has been living in the state of Bihar and his current address is in Patna," it said.
The plea said the petitioner is required to join investigation within three days from receipt of the last notice dated March 11, whereas he had requested the investigating officer through multiple letters to allow him some time as the current Bihar assembly session will conclude on April 5.
Tejashwi Yadav said he had requested that either he be allowed to appear in the CBI office at Patna or if any information or documents are required from his side then he shall provide the same through his authorised representative at New Delhi.
"The said requests were made by the petitioner three times since he has been newly appointed as the deputy chief Minister of Bihar and he has the obligation to attend the Bihar Legislative Assembly budget session along with lots of urgent government work for which, he requires to complete the same within short period of time. The petitioner has been given most urgent work for multiple state ministries, which require to complete on urgent basis," the plea said.
He has sought quashing of summons of February 28, March 4 and March 11. In the interim, he sought the court to stay the operation of the notices requiring his attendance at Delhi.
The plea said that the notice under section 160 of the CrPC can only be issued to a person, who is situated within local jurisdiction of that police station or is within the adjoining police station, and the notices issued by the CBI are in gross violation of the provisions.
In the alternative, he sought that during the pendency of the petition, the CBI be directed to conduct Tejashwi's examination either at his residence or through video conferencing mode. The deputy chief minister also sought that whenever he is interrogated by the CBI in this FIR, his lawyer be allowed at a visible but not audible distance, according to law laid down by the Supreme Court.
"The petitioner is duty bound to render full cooperation and assistance in the ongoing investigation. However, in order to allay any apprehension, to ensure complete transparency and to protect his fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 20 and 21 of the Constitution, the instant petition is being preferred…," the plea added.
The plea said the present investigation is related to allegations against his father and other officers that some people were given jobs in the railways' Group D substitute post in lieu of land parcels that were transferred by them to the family members of Lalu Prasad.
"During such period of time, the petitioner did not have any connection whatsoever with the alleged offence and in fact, the petitioner was a minor during such period. However, the respondent issued the impugned notices with mala fide intention to harass the petitioner without having any basis," it said.
Earlier in the day, a trial court here granted bail to RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, his wife and former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi, their daughter Misa Bharti and others in connection with the case related to the alleged land-for-job scam after they appeared before it. PTI SKV SKV ANB ANB