[NAN Scam] ED to SC: HC Judge was in Contact with Constitutional Functionaries who were Assisting Accused

Prerna Gala

Published on: September 19, 2022 at 20:28 IST

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) informed the Supreme Court on Monday that the accused in the Nagrik Apurti Nigam scam (NAN Scam) had contact with a Chhattisgarh High Court judge via constitutional functionaries who were assisting the accused.

Appearing for ED, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta claimed that the investigation showed the accused had contact with a constitutional official.

“ED probe reveals that the accused was in touch with the Constitutional Functionary. There was an attempt to reduce the gravity of scheduled offences of other co-accused. Accused also influenced the witness to withdraw statements made before the ED,” Mehta submitted.

He added that WhatsApp conversations showed collusion between the accused IAS officers and those in constitutional positions.

“These highly placed officers in connivance with authorities in constitutional posts took advantage. I have not mentioned names. But I have WhatsApp chats. We have not revealed names so that faith of people is not shaken upon system,” Mehta said.

“Let Chhattisgarh file it in sealed cover the documents and let there also be reports on how the scam was during BJP regime,”

The Chhattisgarh government was represented by Senior Attorney Kapil Sibal.

“Should we reveal that the High Court judge who is in contact with the constitutional functionary who is conspiring with the accused?” Mehta questioned.

“Then what? The law is not above the judge. What is there to conceal?” proclaimed Senior Attorney Mukul Rohatgi, who was defending one of the charged officers.

While supporting the ED’s request to relocate the trial, attorney Prashant Bhushan for the intervenor argued that the Supreme Court should oversee the investigation.

He declared, “CBI and ED are susceptible to political influences and it must be overseen by this same court so there is an independent investigation.”

After ordering Chhattisgarh and other parties to submit reports and other materials in sealed cover, the bench presided over by Chief Justice of India UU Lalit scheduled the case for further consideration on September 26 at 3 p.m.

When the Economic Offenses Investigation (EOI) and Anti-corruption Bureau, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, conducted raids on February 12, 2015, in various district offices and residences of the officers of Chhattisgarh State Civil Supplies Corporation and Chhattisgarh State Warehousing Corporation, including its headquarters at Raipur, and had registered a case against the officers, the multi-crore Public Distribution System Scam from Chhattisgarh, known as the NAN Scam, came to light in 2015.

Those implicated have been charged with providing rice, grains, salt, etc. of poor quality.

A money laundering case against two IAS officers has been filed by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the scandal.

Then, it moved the current petition, asking for the trial to be relocated from Chhattisgarh on the grounds that a top government official had been attempting to lessen the predicate offence against the accused.

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