Tuesday, June 25News That Matters

Court closes case against former PS to Chhattisgarh CM

A trial court in Raipur has accepted the closure report filed by EOW-ACB after no case of disproportionate assets was made against Aman Singh, who was principal secretary to former Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh.
The court in an order dated April 16 accepted the closure report filed by the state EOW-ACB after finding that no case of disproportionate assets could be made out against Aman Singh and his wife Yasmin Singh.
An FIR No 09/2020 was lodged when the previous Congress government under chief minister Bhupesh Baghel was in power in the state, based on claims by an RTI activist.
Three years of investigation by the state EOW-ACB failed to substantiate the allegations of disproportionate assets against Singh and his wife, according to the court order.
The closure report was filed by the economic offences wing (EOW) of the state government in December last year before the current BJP government took office.
The trial court has now accepted the closure report and quashed the FIR.
Singh, a former Indian Revenue Service officer, was a powerful bureaucrat in the Raman Singh-led BJP government in Chhattisgarh and the principal secretary to the chief minister. He resigned from service and joined the Adani group in November 2022.
In February 2020, the EOW of Chhattisgarh registered an FIR against Singh and his wife Yasmeen in an alleged disproportionate assets case.
The Bilaspur High Court had two years back quashed the FIR, but the Supreme Court in March 2023 set aside the order, saying it was desirable that the High Courts do not quash corruption case FIRs at the investigation stage, even if it is suspected that the case has been registered by a new government against officers of the previous government.
And now the trial court has accepted the closure report filed by the EOW and scrapped the FIR.
Noted criminal lawyer and Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, who represented the Singhs, said the FIR under the then Bhupesh Baghel government was used to “unjustly target Aman Singh, an honest officer, and his wife Yasmin Singh, a renowned artist, forcing them to undergo trials and tribulations for several years”.
“However, justice has finally been served with their discharge by the court,” he said.
Echoing this sentiment, former Chhattisgarh Chief Secretary Sunil Kumar, who worked with both Congress and BJP chief ministers, spoke about the adverse impacts of political victimisation on governance and the morale of public servants.
“Officers of integrity being targeted for political considerations is demoralising because not everyone can withstand the personal costs of incorruptibility in public service,” he said.
Despite claiming the charges were politically motivated, Aman Singh fully cooperated with the subsequent investigation, which ultimately vindicated him and his wife as no case of disproportionate assets was made out.

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