State government informs Supreme Court that CM of Chhattisgarh did not meet HC judge in relation to NAN scam
Chhattisgarh government denied Thursday that Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel had met a judge of the High Court a few days before some of the accused in the Nagrik Apurti Nigam (NAN) scam were granted bail by the Enforcement Directorate.
While appearing before a Supreme Court bench presided by Chief Justice of India U U Lalit, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal referred to what Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had said on the last date of hearing. There was a report that someone had met with the Chief Minister. We followed instructions. Chief Minister Sibal has never met a judge in any pending matter,” Sibal told the bench, which also included Justices Ajay Rastogi and S Ravindra Bhat.
In response to Mehta’s assertion, the bench, which was hearing the Enforcement Directorate’s request to transfer the trial out of state, declared, “I did not make a statement.” According to a WhatsApp chat between the Chief Minister’s close aide and me…
After the court decided to leave the hearing of the matter in the hands of the next Chief Justice of India who will assume responsibility on November 9, the exchange occurred. In response to both sides’ contentions that they might not be able to complete their arguments on Thursday, the court was requested to post them when the court reopened after Diwali.
In his retirement speech on November 8, CJI Lalit said he would find it difficult to have the same combination of judges next year. As a result, he decided to release the matter from the bench and ordered the matter to be listed before the appropriate court upon receiving instructions from the next Chief Justice in the week commencing November 14.
During the hearing on October 18, Mehta had stated: “The learned judge met with the Chief Minister two days before the bail hearing. I have no further comments to make. It was not my intention to say this, but if this cannot shock your lordships’ conscience, then nothing will.”
As the senior law officer was seeking permission on September 19 to place certain records in sealed cover before the court, he stated, “If this becomes public, people may lose faith in the system because of the individuals involved… Your lordships would like to make public the fact that a sitting High Court judge was in communication with constitutional authorities that were helping the accused”.
The NAN scam involved large-scale corruption by officers and employees of the State Civil Supplies Corporation.