Mumbai: Bombay High Court has refused to quash the disproportionate assets case against the BJP MP from Dadra and Nagar Haveli, saying CBI had conducted a suitable inquiry before registering the FIR.
BJP MP Natubhai Patel had approached the high court seeking to quash the case registered against him by CBI in February under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Patel has been accused of amassing wealth beyond his source of income. The CBI pegged the disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 2.18 crore.
Senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for Patel, argued that no preliminary inquiry was held before registration of FIR, which is the norm for filing offence punishable under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, against the public servant such as MP.
The CBI, however, countered this argument saying discreet verifications were done before the case was registered.
A division bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and AR Joshi after perusing the investigating agency’s original file on the case observed that extensive verification was done before registering FIR and hence refused to quash the case.
“From the notings in the file, it is obvious that the verification process commences as back as from October 2010 and only after collating all the relevant documents and information, final decision was taken at the highest level to register FIR,” the bench said.
Observing that verification done by the department includes, collection of records from the Income Tax authorities, the court said, “Suffice it to observe that we are satisfied that suitable inquiry was conducted”.
Patel served as member of Silvassa Group Gram Panchayat, Interim Council of Silvassa Municipal Area and Silvassa Municipal Council on different occasions between 2001 and 2009.
The bench has stayed its order for two weeks to allow Patel to approach the apex court.