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Graft charges against HP CM: HC to appoint amicus

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also said they would discharge the NGO, Common Cause, while asking how does it decide on “whom to target and whom not to target”.

“First we will discharge Common Cause and then we will appoint an amicus curiae, who will examine the records to see if there is any public interest and whether it is a fit case to be entertained,” the court said, adding that it will pass a detailed order later.

“How do you decide whom to target and whom not to target? Is there any specific regulation in that regard? We do not find this aspect in your rejoinder,” the bench asked the NGO.

The court’s oral order came after senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Singh, objected to the maintainability of the PIL, saying the Chief Minister has imputed “motive” on lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who is representing petitioner ‘Common Cause’.

Sibal said in such a situation the court should prima facie verify the credentials of the petitioner before entertaining a PIL.

“Another element to be considered in this particular case is the fact that the real petitioner is Prashant Bhushan and not ‘Common Cause’... Prashant Bhushan himself is a member of Aam Aadmi Party which has a particular ideology and agenda which is in opposition to other major political parties in the country,” Sibal contended.

He referred to a list of dates and events relating to alleged allotment of land in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh to ‘Kumud Bhushan Education Society’ of which Bhushan was a Secretary.

Sibal alleged that Bhushan “nurtured enmity towards respondent no. 5 (Singh)” who, as the Chief Minister, did not approve the proposal on land allocation to the society on November 12, 2006.
Later when the BJP government came to power, the land was allocated to the society in 2010 on grounds that it would be used for the purpose mentioned by the society, he added.

The counsel further alleged that on October 25, 2013 the anti-corruption authorities found that the society violated the condition and hence, the land should come back to the state government.
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