The Telegraph
Saturday , November 12 , 2011
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ranchi town planner moves court

Suspended town planner of Ranchi Ram Kumar Singh filed a criminal writ petition at Jharkhand High Court on Friday to quash the proceedings initiated against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

In the petition, Singh claimed that he had been framed in a false case by the investigating agency.

The CBI had registered an FIR against Singh on the basis of a letter from the registrar-general of the high court on March 30 this year. The high court had given the instruction while hearing a PIL on unauthorised constructions in the state capital.

The agency had charged Singh under various sections of the penal code and the Prevention of Corruption Act, holding him prima facie guilty of passing plans illegally, which led to a spurt in unauthorised constructions. The CBI had particularly mentioned Singh’s role in passing the plans of Chandralok Apartments and Hotel Leelac.

In his defence, Singh said he was not directly involved in physical verification of the buildings. According to norms, a town planner passes and sanctions the building plans on the basis of a report filed by the junior engineer and the estate officer of Ranchi Regional Development Authority after physical verification of a particular building.

Singh’s counsel told the court that there was no criminal misconduct on his part. The junior engineer and the estate officer’s report was to be blamed for the sanctions and Singh had just been made a scapegoat in the case, the counsel argued.

The counsel further said the proceedings of a departmental inquiry were already on in the matter. “There is no objective of running a departmental proceeding and a criminal case for the same alleged offence,” he said.

The court of Justice Poonam Srivastav, after hearing the petition on Friday, directed CBI to file a reply in the matter. The matter will be again heard on November 25.

Singh was arrested by the CBI on June 16 along with other RRDA officials and a few local builders for his alleged involvement in sanctioning illegal constructions in Ranchi. He was released on bail by the CBI court on August 17 as the agency failed to file a chargesheet within the deadline.

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