Thursday, 01 March 2018 | PNS | Nainital-
The applications seeking stay on arrest submitted by builder Priya Sharma and her business partner Sudhir Chawla- two accused in the national highway 74 scam were rejected by the high court of Uttarakhand on Wednesday. Finding the authenticity of some documents presented questionable, the court also directed a probe into the same by the Registrar General. The court also took serious cognisnace of Chawla not appearing in person and directed that he be arrested and presented in the court on March 8. According to sources, the court directed that if he is not arrested, his property should be attached.
The court further opened the way for the Special Investigation Team arresting Priya Sharma who is the managing director of Alliance Plus Infra Private Limited and Panchavati Colony in which Chawla is her business partner. Earlier, on Tuesday, while hearing on their applications, the single bench of justice Lokpal Singh had directed that both be present in person in the court on Wednesday. According to the case details, the investigating officer of the SIT probing the NH 74 land compensation scam had lodged an FIR against Sharma and Chawla for forgery under various sections. According to the SIT head Swatantra Kumar, the duo had forged documents to secure a compensation of Rs23 crore from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
Meanwhile, after rejection of their applications by the High Court, the court of the Nainital district and sessions judge, and special judge (PCA) Kumkum Rani issued non-bailable warrants against both the accused on Wednesday. After the high court decision, the Kashipur police circle officer Rakesh Kumar Bhatt who is investigating the case against Sharma and Chawla, submitted an application in the court of district and special (PCA) judge seeking non-bailable warrants against the two accused.
In a related development, dozen accused in the NH 74 scam including the main accused suspended Provincial Civil Services officer DP Singh appeared in the court of the district and sessions judge, and special judge (PCA) on Wednesday. Some of the accused told the court that they had not been provided lawyers and hence sought time for appointing their advocates. The court has set the case for hearing next on March 26.
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