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Recruitment scam: HC stays FIR against MP Governor

Ram Naresh Yadav

Jabalpur:  The Madhya Pradesh High Court today, in an interim order, stayed the FIR filed against state Governor Ram Naresh Yadav by Special Task Force (STF) in connection with a recruitment scam.

A division bench of MP High Court comprising Chief Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice Rohit Arya in an interim order stayed the FIR against the Governor, Yadav’s counsels Adarsh Muni Trivedi and Rajendra Pateria told PTI.

The stay will be in vogue till a final order is pronounced, the court observed.

The FIR against Yadav, which is possibly the first against any Governor of Madhya Pradesh, was filed in February this year by the STF, alleging his complicity in the forest guard recruitment exam conducted by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB).

Subsequently, Yadav had filed a petition in the HC for quashing the FIR against him filed by the STF probing the multi-layer MPPEB scam.

Yadav’s counsels Ram Jethmalani, Trivedi and Pateria had contended in the court that criminal proceedings against the Governor were contrary to provisions of Article 361 (2) and Article (3) of the Constitution, which grant immunity to the President and Governors while in office.

However, the STF had argued that criminal proceedings are not launched with the registration of the case. The criminal proceedings are considered launched after a charge sheet is put up in court, it had further contended.

On the other hand, the Governor’s counsels argued that criminal proceedings start with the registration of FIR.

The High Court had on April 13 reserved the judgement on the Governor’s plea after hearing the parties concerned in the case.

Yadav had also said in his plea that the FIR registered by STF appears to be false and frivolous prima facie, since it is based on the statement given by an accused who has already been in jail for more than one-and-a-half years since July 18, 2013.

He also pointed out that the Excel sheet containing his name, which was submitted by Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh to the Special Investigative Team (SIT) mandated to keep a watch over the STF, could be “forged”.

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