HC rejects Apang's objections of bias

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Itanagar, Mar 4 (UNI) The Gauhati High Court has rejected all the objections raised by former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Gegong Apang in an affidavit regarding investigations carried by Special Investigation Cell(SIC) SP M S Chauhan of the state police in the multi-crore Public Distribution System (PDS) scam. After hearing his affidavit in the case relating to serious allegations of large scale misappropriation of public funds, the High Court bench comprising Chief Justice J Chelameswar, Justices Ranjan Gogoi and B P Kakoty on January 10 ruled that the fifth accused (Apang) chose to question the impartiality of Mr Chauhan, who is heading the investigating team in various criminal cases. The bench observed that ''the allegation, that Mr Chauhan is not impartially investigating into the matter and the people connected with the present government, more specifically three persons whose names have been referred to by the fifth accused in his affidavit, is wholly baseless and reckless.'' Apang's name figures in the list of about 96 people accused in various crimes in connection with the PDS in the state with serious allegations of large scale misappropriation of public funds. Apang in an affidavit filed in the court in December last year questioned the impartiality of Mr Chauhan alleging him of favouritism as he was transferred from Tirap and appointed as the SP of the SIC by Home Minister Jarbom Gamlin in spite of there being no such sanctioned post. However, the court observed in the reply by Mr Chauhan that his transfer from Tirap to Itanagar happened during the tenure of Apang as chief minister, who also held the home portfolio at that time. Apang, in his affidavit, also alleged that due to partisan action of the investigating officer the name of Pema Khandu, son of Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, was conspicuously missing from the list of accused allegedly involved in the PDS scam. He also questioned the absence of the names of Jarkar Gamlin, elder brother of Home Minister Jarbom Gamlin and former deputy chief minister Kameng Dolo from the list of accused. Mr Chauhan submitted a list of 96 people accused in the scam and named in the FIR Pema Khandu, Jarkat Gamlin and many kiths and kins of MPs, MLAs, ministers, ex ministers and politicians among others.

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