New Delhi: Taking CBI to task for "hurriedly" filing a closure report on a corruption case against some Delhi Jal Board officials, a city court on Thursday rejected it and directed the agency further probe the matter and explore whether the offenders could be chargesheeted.
"The perusal of the charge sheet makes it clear that the investigating officer (IO) without conducting detailed probe, hurriedly filed the closure report only because the sanction was not accorded by the competent authority," Special CBI Judge Dinesh Kumar Sharma said.
Maintaining that the report "is vulnerable on many aspects and cannot be accepted as such", the court said "the closure report is rejected."
The case pertains to alleged conspiracy, forgery and criminal misconduct by DJB officials between 2006 and 2009, when the board had got tubewells for drinking water installed through private contractors and sub-standard pipes were allegedly used.
CBI had lodged an FIR against several persons, including some public servants, in the case for offences under various sections of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Rejecting CBI's closure report, the court directed it to further probe into the matter noting that investigating officer had not conducted a "detailed probe" and had sought closure of the case only because the sanction to prosecute the accused was not accorded by competent authority.
It also asked CBI to consider whether, in absence of sanction under the provision of Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), the offenders could be charge sheeted for offences of conspiracy, forgery and cheating of IPC.
It said that merely because the sanction was not accorded for the prosecution under PCA, the IO took a "somersault and concluded that there was no sufficient evidence to prove the guilt against any of the accused."
In its order, the court noted that it was "disappointed to observe the manner in which the closure report has been prepared by IO and was forwarded by the senior officer."
"In the present case, the IO has failed to conduct the investigation in proper and detailed manner so as to unearth the conspiracy and other serious criminal offences including forgery committed by the offenders. The supervisory machinery has also failed in monitoring the investigation properly," the court said.
According to the CBI, the contractors were supposed to use prescribed pipes of a particular make in the tube-wells but instead they used sub?standard pipes which were four times cheaper.
One of the private contractor M/s Nitin Enterprises, which was awarded 11 contracts allegedly claimed bills on the basis of forged purchase bills duly certified and passed by DJB officials, it had said.
The court, in its order, said that perusal of the charge sheet itself reveals that it was found during the probe that the invoice submitted by the private contractor was fake and forged and an expert report has also confirmed that prescribed pipes were not used in the work.