New Delhi: A retired official of the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) and two others have been acquitted in a corruption case by a Delhi court which asked the CBI director to take disciplinary action against some of its officials for "unfair" probe into the case.
The court let off accused K K Sood, who retired from SSC in 2007, and two others, Sanjay Rana and Joginder Singh Dahiya of the charges of cheating, forgery and corruption as the CBI failed to produce evidence to prove its allegations against them.
"A copy of this judgement be sent to the Director, CBI, for his consideration and taking appropriate disciplinary action against the erring CBI officials particularly Inspector Virender Thakran," Special CBI Judge Dharmesh Sharma said.
According to the CBI, Sood, who was section officer of the confidential section-III of SSC, had conspired with Rana and Dahiya for favouring some candidates appearing in the clerks` grade examination conducted by the SSC in 1998.
It had alleged the accused had increased the marks of some candidates and their answer sheets were tampered by them.
The CBI had claimed that Rana and Dahiya were running a coaching institute here and had taken Rs 50,000 from one of the students, assuring him that he would pass the written test of the SSC`s clerks` grade examination held in October 1998.
The court acquitted the three accused and pulled up the CBI officials for their "unfair" investigation in the case.
"The whole manner in which the investigation was done shows that Inspector Virender Thakran had taken the law into his own hand, threw all legal norms to the wind and acted in the most diabolic, unfair and criminal manner in falsely implicating the accused persons in this case," it said.
"It is needless to state that SP Anil Kumar failed in his duties to supervise the investigation by PW 27 (Thakran) and others who followed the suit," the judge said.
The agency, in its charge sheet filed against the accused,
had alleged that Rana`s finger prints were found on three candidates` answer sheets which were tampered with to help them qualify.
It said all the accused persons were in contact with each other during that relevant time and Sood was associated with scanning of answer sheets.
The agency had told the court that the case was initially registered by the Delhi Police in November 1998 on a complaint by SSC`s Under Secretary Janardhan Yadav who had said that on November 23, 1998, when the strong room was opened, it was found that some answer sheets were missing. The case was later transferred to the CBI.
During the trial, the accused had denied the allegations levelled against them and had claimed that they were falsely implicated in the case.
The court, in its judgement, noted that the CBI has failed to prove as to how the accused gained access to the strong room.
"What the prosecution fails to bring home is as to how any of the accused could gain access to the strong room... Accused Rana and Dahiya, being private individuals, could never get access to the strong room from inside and if the prosecution tale is that Sood helped them in procuring 113 answer sheets in question, it baffles this court as to how in the world, Sood got access to the strong room," the judge said.
The court also said there was no evidence to show that Rana and Dahiya were running the coaching centre.
Regarding the finger prints of the accused on the answer sheets, the court said, "It is very much plausible that the thumb, palm and finger impression were forcibly taken on the questioned answer sheets and the documents were doctored by Inspector Virender Thakran during their illegal detention."