SC clears Chhattisgarh CM, son in AgustaWestland case
The Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and his son Abhishek of corruption charges in connection with the decade-old purchase of AgustaWestland helicopters.
A bench of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit dismissed a batch of petitions filed by NGO Swaraj Abiyan, leader of opposition in the Chhattisgarh Assembly, TS Singh Deo, and social activist Rakesh Kumar Choubey, who sought an independent probe in the purchase of the helicopters in 2007, suggesting that Singh and his son had links with intermediary companies and were recipients of kickbacks from the deal.
The apex court found that a petition without clear element of public interest could not be entertained at the instance of a political rival merely on account of an alleged procedural irregularity in the decision-making, which could be challenged at appropriate forum.
The bench clarified that the state government was entitled to make a choice to purchase the helicopter in question. “There is nothing on record to show that the helicopter could have been procured for lesser price. No person claiming to give a better deal has come forward. Thus, in absence of clear evidence that loss was caused to public exchequer by way of commission payment to Sharp …read more