The Supreme Court said on Monday that it will pass a detailed order on a plea by Girish Sharma, a witness in the multi-crore Public Distribution System (PDS) scam seeking transfer of the case from the trial court.
A three-judge Bench of Justices R.F. Nariman, Navin Sinha and K.M. Joseph heard the plea filed by Girish Sharma, an employee of the Chhattisgarh State Civil Supplies Corporation in Raipur and a witness in the scam, who alleged the state government is endeavouring to derail the case proceedings in the trial court and sought its transfer.
During the hearing today, Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani appearing for the petitioner submitted that there has been relentless subversion of witness.
“You are a witness who has already deposed. Now you say there is pressure from SIT on which you will be coerced. Is this some ground to transfer?” – Justice Nariman questioned.
The Bench stated that if it hears the case at this juncture, it will dismiss the case on merits. The bench added that it will pass a detailed order on the plea.
The Apex Court had previously sought a response from the state government on the present issue. A three-judge bench comprising Justices Nariman, Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee had issued notices and sought response from the Chhattisgarh government, its Economic Offences Wing/Anti-Corruption Bureau, Special Investigation Team on the plea seeking the shifting of the alleged Rs 36,000 crore scam outside Chhattisgarh.
“The petitioner is a crucial witness, in the multi-crore, Civil Supplies Scam, infamously known as NAN Scam and has been constrained to invoke the writ jurisdiction of this Court against malafide actions of the Respondent No. 1-State…has since Dec, 2018 been unrelentingly been making attempts to frustrate the trial,” the plea said.
Senior advocate Mahesh Jethamalani and advocate Ravi Sharma, appearing for the petitioner had sought the following reliefs:
- Transfer of trial.
- Monitoring of the cases by apex court.
- Directions to restrain the Chhattisgarh government from taking coercive action against him.
The Economic Offences Investigation (EOI) and Anti-Corruption Bureau, Raipur, Chhattisgarh had conducted raids on February 12, 2015 in different district offices and residents of the officers of Chhattisgarh State Civil Supplies Corporation and Chhattisgarh State Warehousing Corporation including its headquarter at Raipur and had registered a case against the officers of the corporation. A money laundering case was also registered in connection with the scam against two IAS officers by the Enforcement Directorate.