1996 housing scam: Shiela Kaul to appear in court

87 year old former Union Minister Shiela Kaul was on Friday ordered to be produced before a special CBI court on February 28.

Updated: Feb 18, 2012, 00:45 AM IST

New Delhi: Ninety seven-year-old former Union
Minister Shiela Kaul was on Friday ordered to be produced before a
special CBI court on February 28 for framing of charges
against her in a 1996 housing scam case.

Special CBI Judge Pradeep Chaddah was to pronounce today
itself his order on charge against the former Cabinet minister
in the PV Narsimha Rao government for her alleged role in the
housing scam but deferred it due to her absence.

The court ordered her presence on the next date of hearing
even as a defence counsel filed an application seeking her
exemption from personal appearance and for appointment of a
local commissioner to visit her to find out her health
conditions and if she could be brought to the court.

The court also asked the counsel to "come with the case
laws on this point (appointment of a local commissioner),
failing which, let the accused Sheila Kaul be produced as the
case already has been considerably delayed."

Earlier this month, the court had decided to frame
charges against Kaul and her erstwhile Additional Private
Secretary Rajan Lala and Private Assistant RK Sharma, accused
of allegedly allotting government accommodation here for a
consideration, holding that a prima facie case is made out
against them.

The CBI had chargesheeted Kaul and her aides in April 2003
under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code
and for various other offences under Prevention of Corruption
Act.

The CBI had indicted her for conspiring with her two
personal staff for making out-of-turn allotment of government
accommodation to officials after securing pecuniary benefits
from alottees between 1992 and 1995.

The trio allegedly used to accept applications directly
from government officials seeking allotment of accommodation
and the minister would pass the orders without considering the
objections raised by the Estate Directorate. A CBI probe was
launched into the case on the Supreme Court direction on a PIL
by apex court lawyer Shiv Sagar Tewari.

PTI