HC relief for Shivraj Singh Chouhan, wife in ‘dumper scam’

A criminal revision plea that accused Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of personal corruption, and whose outcome was keenly awaited by the Congress and also by a section of the ruling BJP, has been dismissed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

"The closure report is well founded and unassailable," a Division Bench said about the Lokayukta probe that had given a clean chit to Chouhan and his wife Sadhna Singh in the 'dumper scam'. A special anti-corruption court in Bhopal had on August 1, 2011 accepted the closure report submitted by the Special Police Establishment (SPE), saying no offence could be made against Chouhan. Challenging the order, complainant Ramesh Sahu, a Congress leader, had moved the HC seeking a CBI probe and access to all documents on which the Lokayukta report was based.

The Bench rejected the plea seeking documents and held that the SPE functions under the superintendence of Lokayukta, who is a former Supreme Court judge, and thus "an independent investigating agency was not likely to be influenced by the executive". Sahu had argued the SPE was not expected to conduct a fair probe against an incumbent CM as they are essentially state police on deputation to the anti-corruption watchdog's office.

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