HC upholds trial court order on Kishan Ganga fraud

Anti-Corruption Court had booked 216 accused including officers, contractors for non-existent works

Jammu and Kashmir High Court has upheld a trial court order whereby accused were charged in a multi-crore rupees fraud case pertaining to pre-execution works and purchase of stores for Kishan Ganga Hydro Electric Project in 1997.
After Anti-Corruption Court Kashmir framed charges against 216 accused including officers and contractors, some of them approached High Court for quashing the order by virtue of which they were charged for their involvement in Rs 2.39 crore fraud.
“All the petitions are bereft of any merit and only an effort to hijack the proceedings from the trial court,” ruled Justice Hasnain Massodi while dismissing 10 petitions by the accused.
Observing that the order framing charge was passed by the trial court on November 8, 2007, and there was no progress in the trial for the last seven years, the bench said, “In the circumstances, trial court shall list the case at least once in a fortnight, draw and frame a schedule for trial on the first day the matter surfaces before it, identifying the calendar of witnesses to be examined as the trial proceeds.”
“The issue raised in the petitions is to be left to the trial court so that the issue is dealt with after the prosecution brings evidence, whatever it proposes to press into service to bring home guilt to the accused, on the file,” the court said.
Prosecution case is that the accused and their co-conspirators hatched criminal conspiracy to draw huge amount on account of non-existent unauthorized and substandard works. Advocate Shuja Tantray respresented the State.

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