HC notice to Delhi government on plea for CBI probe against minister

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on a plea seeking CBI probe into charges of bribery against Food and Supplies Minister Imran Hussain.

Justice Pratibha Rani asked the Delhi government to file the response on the plea filed by Mohammed Qasim, a businessman, from whom Hussain’s staffer allegedly demanded Rs.30 lakh.

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The Arvind Kejriwal-led government sought time to file a status report on the plea. The court posted the matter for hearing on July 27.

Filing the plea through advocates Pramod Dubey and Aman Panwar, Qasim alleged that the city police were “deliberately shielding” the minister and other accused.

He sought the probe be transferred from Delhi Police to the CBI and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act be added in the case.

Senior advocate N. Hariharan, appearing for Qasim, said on the basis of his complaint an FIR was lodged in February this year by police against Hussain and others, but graft charges were not added though these were clearly made out from the facts set out in the complaint.

Qasim alleged that the minister runs a builder-mafia syndicate in Ballimaran area and no construction work can be carried out without paying the minister.

Seeking police protection for himself and his family, Qasim said the minister has been threatening him with dire consequences and asking him to withdraw his police complaint.

Hussain is the AAP’s legislator from Ballimaran in the walled city.

“The main accused in the present matter, i.e. Imran Hussain, is an MLA from the Ballimaran assembly constituency and being a powerful local politician, he virtually controls and holds great influence over each and every construction work that is carried out in the Ballimaran area, in as much as no construction work can be carried out without his permission,” said the plea.

The plea alleged that a Rs.30 lakh bribe was demanded from Qasim for allowing him to repair/renovate his own house.

In February, the Congress had alleged that Hussain’s staffer had been caught on camera demanding bribe on the minister’s behalf.

The minister’s brother and a junior engineer also contacted Qasim asking for a bribe on Hussain’s behalf, Congress leader Ajay Maken said, showing a video clip in support of his allegation.

Imran Hussain had replaced Asim Ahmed Khan in October 2015 as the new food and supplies minister after Khan was publicly sacked by Kejriwal on charges of corruption.