Charges framed against Petroleum Ministry official



New Delhi: A Delhi court has framed charges against a Petroleum Ministry's official for allegedly amassing assets exceeding his legal income by conniving with dealers in selling adulterated petroleum products.

Special CBI Judge Rakesh Syal framed charges against erstwhile Joint Director (Investigation) Uday Shankar of the anti-adulteration cell in the Ministry of Petroleum, saying that there is a prima facie case against him.

"You (Shankar), during period April 1, 1998 to May 21, 2004 at Delhi and other places, being a public servant ie, an officer in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd and/or Joint Director (investigation), Anti Adulteration Cell, Ministry of Petroleum, Government of India, amassed and were found in possession of disproportionate assets worth Rs 1.11 crore.”

"For which you could not satisfactorily account for, and you thus committed offence of criminal misconduct by a Public Servant punishable under Section 13 (2) read with Section 13 (1) (e) of the PC Act," the court said.

The judge also charged Shankar's alleged accomplice Sanjeev Kumar, saying prima facie it appears that he was also actively involved with him in various monetary transactions and had thus acquired movable and immovable properties on his behalf, during his tenure in the office from 1998 to 2004.

"You (Sanjeev), during period April 1, 1998 to May 21, 2004 at Delhi and other places, abetted your co-accused Shankar in amassing disproportionate assets inter-alia, by receiving, acquiring and/or holding various immovable and movable assets in your name and in the name of your wife on behalf of accused Shankar, and the said offence was committed in consequences of your abetment and thus you have committed an offence punishable under section 109 IPC read with 13 (2) read with Section 13 (1) (e) of PC Act," it said.

As the duo pleaded "not guilty" to various charges framed against them and claimed trial, the court slated September 25 for recording the statements of prosecution witnesses and to begin the trial formally.

Shankar had acquired movable and immovable properties in his name as well as in names of his various family members, the CBI had said adding that he had also purchased some benami assets between April 1, 1998 and May 21, 2004.

The court had already framed charges against three persons, Shankar, Sanjeev and businessman SK Gupta under the PC Act and the Indian Penal Code for allegedly taking and giving illegal gratifications respectively for sale of adulterated petroleum products.

The court had said there was prima facie evidence on record to show that a conspiracy was hatched among the accused to sell adulterated petroleum products for which the officer received illegal gratification of Rs 7 lakh from Gupta.

Charge sheet against the three in respect of the allegations was filed separately.

All of them were arrested on May 22, 2004 by the CBI, which had said the officer was apprehended while taking bribe.

PTI