By LE Desk

Chandigarh, March 17: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday directed the trial court/CBI Special Judge to expeditiously conclude the trial in more than six-year-old case allegedly involving Chandigarh Municipal Corporation officers and M/s Selvel Media Services Pvt. Ltd. The case revolves around the operation and maintenance of toilet blocks in various complexes of the UT.

Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan made it clear that the trial was required to be completed preferably within two years, considering the fact that proceedings were stayed in 2016. The direction on a petition filed by Jimmy Subawalla and other petitioners against the CBI and other respondents came as Justice Sangwan refused to quash the proceedings, The Tribune reported.

Director of M/s Selvel Media Services Pvt Ltd, Subawalla, and other petitioners were seeking directions for quashing the FIR dated December 9, 2014, for cheating and criminal conspiracy under Sections 120-B and 420 of the IPC, along with the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Directions were also sought for quashing further proceedings pending before the Special Judge.

In reply, counsel Sumeet Goel contended on respondent CBI’s behalf that all accused, in conspiracy with each other, caused a huge loss to the public exchequer. The petition was filed at the stage when the charges were to be framed. “For the purpose of framing of charge, the court is required to satisfy if a prima facie case exists for proceeding against the accused. For that limited purpose, the court can evaluate the material or documents on record, but cannot appreciate the evidence,” Goel contended.

The Bench, among other things, was told that the conspiracy between then executive engineer RC Diwan and M/s Selvel Media Services Pvt Ltd was apparent on record. In order to give undue benefit, he, by the way of negotiation, firstly reduced the bid from Rs9,800 to Rs8,800 with an annual increase of 10 per cent instead of 15 per cent as quoted in the original bid.

Goel further submitted that the conspiracy was also apparent as the petitioners gave a conditional bid even though it was specifically provided that conditional bid would not be accepted.

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