‘Dumper Scam’ against Chauhan resurfaces
Posted November 30, 2011on:
The “dumper scam” refuses to die, in spite of the closure report submitted by the Lokayukta Organisation and the verdict of the special judge dismissing the complaint with the astounding observation that Shivraj Singh Chauhan, as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, is in a position to purloin hundreds of crores of rupees and it was, therefore, unbelievable that he should have allowed himself to be involved in a business of a few crore of rupees; even then, when the chief minister came to know of this, he closed the business which shows his (good) character, special judge R P S Chauhan added.
An appeal against the verdict apart, the edge to the scam case has been added by the interest of a retired Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court in the entire investigation of the case. Chauhan and his wife Sadhna Singh Chauhan are the main accused in the case.
Ramesh Sahu, who was the complainant in the case, has appealed against the verdict of the special judge in the Madhya Pradesh High Court. It was essentially the complaint of then Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Jamuna Devi (who expired last year). As then Lokayukta Ripu Sudan Dayal had refused to register the complaint, Jamuna Devi had approached the Supreme Court. She was, however, advised by the apex court that she should approach it only after exhausting the other avenues available to her. Then she had deputed Ramesh Sahu, an advocate and Congress worker, to move the designated court. Then special judge R K Bhave had found substance in the complaint and directed the Lokayukta Organisation to register an FIR and investigate the case.
Ripu Sudan Dayal, who later found himself arraigned in a court for indulging in corruption as the Lokayukta, had shown the dishonesty even in registering the FIR. A police officer of the Lokayukta organisation was made the complainant in the FIR. Ramesh Sahu, on whose complaint the special court had directed the Lokayukta Organisation to investigate the case, was made only a witness. That deprived him of being associated with the progress of the investigation.
The documents attached to the petition show that Shivraj Singh Chauhan had started doling out mining leases in Rewa district, in flagrant violation of the law, to JP Associates which has a cement factory in the district and the JP Group financed four heavy vehicles, got them registered in the name of Chauhan’s wife Sadhna Singh and took those vehicles from her on lease. The dates of these transactions are significant.
Chauhan became chief minister on November 29, 2005. On December 12, his government issued an order allotting to JP Associates prospecting licence of mining on 470.941 hectares of land in Naobasta, Kachur, Attrauli, Gadhwaah, Chiggawar and Jonahi villages in Rewa district. Not only that, the government also allotted to JP Associates 25.842 hectares of private land belonging to farmers of the area though no farmers’ land can be allotted for mining without the consent of the farmers. When the farmers protested the police fired on them.
In May 2006, four heavy vehicles worth about Rs two crore were registered in the name of Sadhna Singh. According to the petition, these vehicles were acquired by Sadhna Singh “through JP Associates and for JP Associates”. The documents downloaded from the official site of the MP Transport Department “E-Sewa” gave the registration numbers of the four vehicles with owner’s name as “Smt Sadhna Singh”; Father’s/Husband’s name as “Shri S.R.Singh”; and the address as “Jaypee Nagar Plant, Rewa”. The complaint claims that on “actual verification”, no person by the name of Smt Sadhna Singh was found staying at the address given in the registration document.
Ripu Sudan Dayal had sufficiently messed up the investigation. What was left was completed by his successor Prakash Prabhakar Naolekar whose very appointment as the Lokayukta of Madhya Pradesh stands challenged. Ajay Dubey’s efforts to get the papers pertaining to the appointment of Naolekar as the Lokayukta under the RTI Act have not succeeded.
Justice R S Garg, who served for a considerable period as a judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court and retired as the Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court, has sought under the RTI Act provisions from the Lokayukta Organisation the documents pertaining to the dumper scam case investigation. Garg’s application has so much rattled Naolekar that he not only refused to part with the documents but did not even show the basic courtesy due to a retired chief justice of a High Court.
Garg, who lives in Indore, waited more than the stipulated period of one month after filing his application. The Lokayukta Organisation did not send him the papers sought by him but asked him to visit the Lokayukta office in Bhopal and inspect the papers. When the former chief justice of the Gauhati High Court reached the Lokayukta office in Bhopal, he was not received by the Lokayukta or even by the head of the Lokayukta police. An officer of the rank of superintendent of police met him and refused to show him the documents under various pretexts.
Justice Garg described his experience at the Lokayukta office as “shocking”. He said that he was specifically asked by the Lokayukta office that the documents he had sought ran into more than 6,000 pages and he could, therefore, inspect those in the Lokayukta office; but when he reached there, they had denied him the access to those documents. He is now contemplating the next step.