//SC stays trial of former Punjab minister in corruption case

SC stays trial of former Punjab minister in corruption case

Ze News,

New Delhi, July 06: The Supreme Court today stayed the trial of former Punjab minister and Shiromani Akali Dal MP Rattan Singh Ajnala in a disproportionate assets case.

The order came from a bench of Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice D K Jain which also issued notices to the Punjab government, the state's Chief Director of Vigilance and the Superintendent of Police of Vigilance Bureau on Ajnala's petition.

The court ordered that the petition be tagged along with the petition of former Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal who has challenged the criminal proceedings initiated against him by Vigilance Bureau on the ground that there was no sanction from competent authority.

In his petition, Ajnala challenged the May 31, 2006 order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court asking the trial court to proceed with the trial but not to pronounce the final order till the apex court decided the issue of sanction in Badal's case.

Ajnala is accused of misusing his office as a public servant during his tenure as a minister during 1997-2002 and accumulated assets disproportionate to his known sources of income and thereby committed offences punishable under various sections of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

Ajnala contended that the Vigilance Bureau did not take permission from the speaker to prosecute him in terms of the apex court's ruling in Narsimha Rao's case.

He submitted that the chargesheet against him was bad in law as it was not accompanied with the sanction to prosecute him.