Abhay's plea to transfer assets case to another judge opposed
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Registrar General on Thursday objected to a plea of Abhay Singh Chautala, son of former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, seeking transfer of a disproportionate assets (DA) case against him to some other judge.
The registrar general informed the Delhi High Court that the DA case involving Abhay is pending before a special judge who was designated by the high court to deal with cases pertaining to MPs and MLAs on orders of the Supreme Court.
Abhay has claimed that he apprehends he would not get a fair trial if his case continues to be presided over by the special judge.
Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal was informed by advocate Viraj Datar, representing the high court's administration, that if the court decides to transfer the case, another judge would have to be designated to specially deal with it.
"It (Filing of plea) has been done to overcome the sessions court," Datar said.
The counsel said the court to deal with the matters of involving MPs/ MLAs was set up by a special notification and there is only one judge each at sessions court and magisterial court to hear them.
On being asked whether the district judge concerned would be able to deal with the transfer application, Datar said the district judge will not have the power to do it as the special court was set up by the high court on the administrative side on the orders of the apex court.
The court asked the counsel to seek further instructions from the registrar general on the issue and listed the matter for hearing on March 18.
The court had on Wednesday issued notice to the CBI and the registrar general on the petition.
The high court, in its Wednesday order, had also said that since the DA case was listed before the special CBI judge on Thursday, both Abhay and the agency "shall seek joint adjournment".
Advocate Amit Sahni, appearing for Abhay, had told the high court that it was within its inherent power to transfer the DA case from one special court to another.
Special public prosecutor Rajdipa Behura, appearing for the CBI, had contended that the transfer petition "was a total abuse of process of law and has only been moved to delay the trial".
Abhay has said the DA case be withdrawn from the special CBI judge hearing it presently and be assigned to someone else. The petition has also sought calling of the case records, claiming that it would allegedly reveal deliberate deletion of the deposition of one of the prosecution witnesses.
The CBI had lodged the DA case against Abhay on a complaint of Congress leader Shamsher Singh Surjewala.
Surjewala had alleged that Abhay had amassed wealth worth several times more than his income.
According to the CBI, Abhay owned assets worth over five times his income of Rs 22.89 crore as per income tax records during the 2000-2005 period. It has claimed to have found Rs 119.69 crore worth of assets.
The CBI had also alleged that he possessed assets exceeding his legal income by 339.27 per cent. His legal income between May 1993 and May 2006 was Rs 8.17 crore, but had acquired assets worth Rs 27.7 crore, it had alleged before the trial court.