A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Uttarakhand high court (HC) has alleged that former chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat extended favours to his Officer on Special Duty (OSD), Rakesh Kumar, by sanctioning the construction of a bridge and road in record time that provided access to his land but had no public use.
The bench comprising of Chief Justice RS Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma, however, noted that there were no photographs or maps of the area to substantiate the claims made in the petition. The bench therefore gave the petitioner – Umesh Sharma, owner of a local TV news channel – three weeks to produce the relevant documents.
Advocate general (AG) SN Babulkar meanwhile raised questions on whether the PIL should be considered by the court, saying it does not follow the rules formulated by the HC. In response, the court has asked the AG to submit his contentions within three weeks.
To recall, Sharma had also claimed last year that the former CM had accepted a bribe in return for appointing a person to head the Jharkhand Gau Seva Ayog in 2016 when he was the state in-charge of BJP’s Jharkhand unit. Sharma alleged that Rawat got the money transferred to the account of his relatives.
Thereafter, the Trivendra Singh Rawat government got an FIR registered against Sharma, alleging extortion. Subsequently, Sharma approached the HC seeking quashing of the FIR against him. While hearing the petition, HC had asked the CBI to initiate an inquiry against the former CM. The order, however, was stayed by the Supreme Court.