Court notice to Minister Salman Khurshid trust
Taking strict view of report submitted by the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the Uttar Pradesh (UP) state police that it has prima facie found anomalies to the tune of Rs 1.30 crore in functioning of Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust run by Union minister Salman Khurshid ,the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has issued notice to the Trust asking why not it should return the amount to the union ministry of social justice and empowerment and wait for reimbursement of the grant till the final disposal of the case.
The court also expressed displeasure over the tardy pace of EOW probe.
A division bench of Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice Satish Chandra also issued notice to the Trust to explain its position. The next date of hearing has been fixed on March 21. The order came on the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by social activist Nutan Thakur in which she had asked for registration of a case on the basis of the charges levelled against the Trust run by Khurshid and his wife Louise.
The PIL was filed last year on October 15. In her petition, Thakur had also expressed doubt over free and fair inquiry into the allegations under present political circumstances, hence she had requested the court to supervise the probe. In the previous hearing on January 16, the court had asked the EOW to present the status report on February 1.
Six parties, including UP government through principal secretary home, EOW, central government through ministry of social justice, principal secretary social welfare UP, Aaj Tak through editor India Today group and Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, were made respondents in the PIL by Thakur.
The alleged anomalies in distribution of aid by the Trust to disabled in various districts of the state had surfaced after a sting operation carried out by the news channel. Later, the issue was picked by the anti-corruption crusader Arvind Kejriwal.
Khurshid had then vehemently denied allegations and his wife had filed a defamation suit against the channel.
- Asian Tribune -