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Charges against Ex-MCI Chief Ketan Desai dropped

Ahemdabad : Special CBI court looking into the charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy against Ex-MCI Chief, Dr Ketan Desai , has dropped all charges against him on Monday. The reason special CBI judge dropped the case was on the ground that prosecution agency had not obtained the mandatory sanction from the government to prosecute Dr Desai, said his counsel Purnendu Chakravarti.

The case was registered against Dr Desai, MCI inspector Suresh Shah and others under prevention of corruption act and conspiracy for granting permission to Ram Murthy Medical College in Bareily though the college was not fulfilling the required conditions. The CBI built the case on the basis of a confession extracted from Dr Shah during investigation. Shah later retracted his statement against Dr Desai.

Both the accused unsuccessfully sought discharge from the CBI court in this case in 2012 after the CBI filed a chargesheet against them. When the high court was moved, it quashed the corruption charges against Dr Desai and directed that the CBI court shall decide on the sanction for prosecution under section 197 of CrPC, which was missing, before proceeding further.

Dr Desai had filed a discharge plea again with the CBI court and advocate Chakravarti argued that the action on part of the accused was part of the discharge of their duties as office bearers of MCI. Hence, Dr Desai could not be prosecuted without sanction from competent authority, and the CBI did not obtain any prior approval in this regard.

After hearing the case, the special CBI judge dropped charges of conspiracy and cheating against Dr Desai for want of sanction.

Dr Desai was booked in five cases by the CBI and later the probe agency gave a clean chit to him in connection with charge of possessing disproportionate property. Interestingly, after Dr Desai’s arrest, the Centre dissolved MCI without waiting for investigation reports. The council was substituted by six retired government officials and private practitioners.

Interestingly, the CBI had booked Dr Desai on the allegation of accepting bribe of Rs 2 crore. However, during the search operation by the CBI at all his premises in Delhi and Ahmedabad, only Rs 53,000 cash was found. “We also argued in the court that this was a conspiracy to defame Dr Desai because practically there was no evidence to implicate him in this case,” said Chakravarti.

Dr Desai was already exonerated on corruption charges by Lucknow high court earlier in this case. The charges of having disproportionate assets did also not stand against him in the past.

Source: TOI

Source: Times of India
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