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Delhi HC dismisses plea against Nitish Kumar


New Delhi, July 7:

The Delhi High Court Monday dismissed a plea seeking direction to the CBI to file a case against former railway minister Nitish Kumar for alleged irregularities in the purchase of concrete sleepers during his tenure from March 2001 to May 2004 in the NDA regime.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw, while dismissing the PIL filed by Mithlesh Kumar Singh, said they suspected the plea was motivated.

Nitish Kumar
Nitish Kumar

Passing the judgment, the bench said that the issues raised in the petition had already been dealt with in 2012. The court had disposed of the plea two years back the court when the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had submitted that an inquiry had been held and a report placed then before the Standing Committee of the railways.

The bench questioned the petitioner targeting Nitish Kumar, a former Bihar chief minister, for the last nearly three years.

“Why the petitioner (Singh) is targeting the respondent no.7 (Kumar) for the last nearly three years by filing one proceeding after another and what is the source of knowledge and information,” asked the court.

“No plausible answer has been forthcoming. We suspect the petition to be motivated and not in public interest and are not inclined to entertain the same on this ground also,” it added.

According to Singh, Nitish Kumar, as the then railway minister awarded a Rs.320 crore contract for manufacturing 160 lakh concrete sleepers to a Gaya-based company despite other firms quoting a much lower price.

Singh alleged the work was awarded through a “limited tender”, limiting it to only a few bidders, even as many tenders had already been received through an “open tender” floated earlier.

The court said that its Dec 7, 2012 order observed that the records shown to it disclosed that a CBI inquiry was indeed conducted and the report placed before the Standing Committee of the Railways, “the contention today, of the inquiry having not been conducted and the report thereof having not been placed before the Standing Committee of the Railways, cannot be accepted”.