Wednesday, June 7, 2023

NAN Scam: Matter to be heard by 3-judge bench headed by CJI DY Chandrachud

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A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud will hear the plea filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking transfer of trial relating to the Nagrik Apurti Nigam scam (NAN scam) from Chhattisgarh to any other State.

The decision was told by the CJI himself in court today.

Besides the CJI, the bench will have Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Ravindra Bhat who were part of the earlier bench hearing the matter.

Although the matter had to be listed before Justice MR Shah but the parties had raised objection to the same.

Previously the case was being heard by then Chief Justice of India UU Lalit and Justices Ajay Rastogi and S Ravindra Bhat.

During the hearing today, the CJI Chandrachud said that it will now be heard by him and Justices Bhat and Rastogi.

“The CJI said he will speak to both his co judges (brothers) to see how the bench can be rejigged for them.

The multi-crore Public Distribution System scam from Chhattisgarh which was known as NAN scam came to light in 2015 when Economic Offences Investigation (EOI) and Anti-corruption Bureau, Raipur, Chhattisgarh conducted raids on February 12, 2015 in different district offices and residence of the officers of Chhattisgarh State Civil Supplies Corporation and Chhattisgarh State Warehousing Corporation .

Not only this, but also the headquarters at Raipur were also raided after which a case against the officers of the corporation was filed.

Those involved have been accused of supplying low quality rice, grams, salt etc.

The Enforcement Directorate had also registered a money laundering case against two IAS officers who were involved in this.

Later on the plea was moved seeking transfer of trial from Chhattisgarh alleging that a senior functionary of the government has been trying to weaken the predicate offence against the accused.

In the counter affidavit filed, the ED in alleged that the accused were in touch with a Chhattisgarh High Court judge through Constitutional functionaries who were helping the accused.

The Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had said that WhatsApp chats revealed connivance between accused IAS officers and those holding Constitutional posts.

Tushar Mehta had said that these highly placed officers in connivance with authorities in constitutional posts took advantage.

He had clearly never mentioned the names, but had WhatsApp chats. He had said that revealing names would shake the faith of people upon system.

During the last hearing, Mehta had alleged that the Chief Minister had met a Chhattisgarh High Court judge.

While the matter was up today for hearing, Kapil Sibal contested that claim.

Sibal said that we took instructions. The Chief Minister never met any High Court judge.

Tushar Mehta said that “I only read a Whatsapp chat where a close….”but he was not allowed any further.

The bench made it clear that it will not hear the case any further.

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