Maneka Gandhi Case: The Delhi High Court issued a notice to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) over a plea which sought to declare that no sanction is needed to take cognisance in the corruption case which allegedly involves BJP Member of Parliament Maneka Gandhi.
Justice Yogesh Khanna issued the notice to the CBI and schedule the hearing the matter for December 6. This happened when the court was hearing a plea filed by one VM Singh against the trial court order of February 4 last year.
Advocate Arjun Harkauli who was representing in asked the Delhi High Court to set aside the court order from February “to the extent the court has directed CBI to obtain sanction from the sanctioning authority for taking cognizance of the offence.”
The petition said that the trial court was convinced of the offences but according to the section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act of 1988, CBI has to obtain sanction from the authorities to take congnisance of the offence committed between 1998 to 2001.
According to the said corruption act, no court can take congisance of the an offence committed by someone who was a public servant at the time of the offence. The only exemption is that there should be a previous sanction from a concerned authority. There have been amendments of the corruption act and it will not apply to offences before the introduction of the amendment, the plea added.
Harkauli said, “There is nothing in the amending Act that makes the amendment to section 19 retrospective and henceforth, the amendment to section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act in 2018 will not apply to the facts of this case.”
There is a “CBI vs Maneka Gandhi case pending before the Special Judge in Rouse Avenue District Courts and the petitioner asked the court to call for records of it under section 120B (read with section 420) of IPC along with section 13 (2) and 13( 1) (d) of Prevention of Corruption Act.
The petitioner also asked the court to declare that no sanction is required by the trial court. Maneka Gandhi had earlier filed a plea challenging the trial court order directing CBI to further probe the corruption case against her.
What is the case against Maneka Gandhi ?
The CBI filed a case against Gandhi and two others for allegedly sanctioning Rs 50 Lakh to a trust in a fraudulent manner in 2001. According to the officials, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has given grants via Maulana Azad Education Foundation ( MAEF) to unjustified beneficiaries against rules and regulations. Such grants were allegedly given on behalf of Maneka Gandhi.
In 2006, the CBI had filed an FIR against Gandhi on charges of conspiracy, cheating and other sections of Prevention of Corruption Act. The then secretary of MAEF, Dr FU Siddiqui and Dr Vijay Sharma were also named in the case.