The Delhi High Court has refused anticipatory bail to the owner of a firm who feared his arrest for alleged involvement in the multi-crore-rupee National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam in Uttar Pradesh.
Justice Mukta Gupta rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Delhi-based firm Surya Tej Earth Movers’ director Sumit Tandon on the ground of territorial jurisdiction and said the case was being heard in a Ghaziabad special court.
“The misappropriation, embezzlement and the offence under Section 13 PC (Prevention of Corruption) Act were committed in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The offence having been committed in the State of Uttar Pradesh, in terms of Section 4(2) of the PC Act, the Special Judge, Ghaziabad at Uttar Pradesh is competent to try the same,” the judge said in the order.
The high court, upholding the decision of the trial court which had also rejected Tandon’s plea on the ground of territorial jurisdiction, said: “The Special Judge, Delhi has committed no error in dismissing the application of the petitioner for anticipatory bail for want of territorial jurisdiction.”
Challenging the trial court order, Tandon in his plea in the high court said that the court at Delhi only has jurisdiction to try the offence against him and thus the special Judge erred in rejecting the anticipatory bail application for want of territorial jurisdiction. He also said that FIR has been registered by CBI in Delhi so the city court only has jurisdiction to decide the case.
However, contradicting Tandon, the CBI has said that the FIR was registered on the direction of Allahabad High Court and the Ghaziabad court has jurisdiction to try the case as the corruption and embezzlement of government funds has taken place in Uttar Pradesh.
Tandon is allegedly accused in cases which the CBI has been inquiring into in respect of alleged irregularities in the utilization of government funds allocated for civil construction and upgradation of various hospitals in Uttar Pradesh under NRHM Scheme from 2005-2006 till date.