News Desk, Tech for FTCP, Jodhpur
Updated Thu, 17 Sep 2020 08:42 AM IST
Former Union Minister Arun Shourie (file photo)
– Photo: PTI
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Special CBI Judge Puran Kumar Sharma also ordered that the Laxmi Vilas Palace Hotel in Udaipur be handed over to the state government. This hotel was previously operated by the Tourism Development Corporation of India. In 2002, it was sold to Bharat Hotels Limited, now operated by the Lalit Group of Hotels.
The judge gave this order while hearing the CBI closure report in the case of alleged loss of Rs 244 crore to the government from the sale of the hotel. The CBI report states that no evidence was found to initiate prosecution against the accused in the disinvestment process. But the court criticized the investigating agency for presenting a closure report in the case.
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Judge Sharma said, “Prima facie, it seems that the then minister Arun Shourie and the then secretary Pradeep Baijal misused their offices and caused a loss of Rs 244 crore to the central government in the deal.” The CBI is a reputed agency of the country, despite the facts pointing to criminality, its submission of closure report is a cause for concern. '
The other three accused in the case are Ashish Guha, the then managing director of the firm Lazard India Ltd, Kantilal Karamse Vikramse, the then investment head of Kanti Karamse & Co, and Jyotsna Suri, the then chairman and managing director of Bharat Hotels Limited. The court ordered that they be booked under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and section 13 (1) D of the Prevention of Corruption Act.