HC orders notice to Railways, CBI

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Chennai, Sep 10 (UNI) The Madras High Court has ordered notice to the Railways, the Central Bureau of Investigation and a Member of the Railway Rates Tribunal, Chennai, on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition seeking a direction to the investigating agency to register a case against the official under the Prevention of Corruption Act without getting approval.

In his petition, S Kannan, Secretary, Democratic Youth Federation of India, said backdoor appointments were made in Southern Railway to regular posts in violation of all recruitment norms.

Contending that more than 80 such appointments were made by Thomas Varghese, former General Manager prior to his retirement, he termed these appointments illegal.

The petitioner submitted that he had earlier filed a writ petition seeking a direction to the CBI to carry out an investigation on the DYFI's complaint and file the final report.

Based on the submissions of the Railway Ministry that the matter was under investigation by the CBI, the writ petition was treated as closed.

Seeking information about the progress of investigation, he filed an application under the Right to Information Act. The CBI replied that it had found that a prima facie case had been made out.

The agency said it had sought approval of the Railway Ministry under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act. But the Railway Board had not granted approval. Hence, the agency could not register a regular case and press ahead with the investigation.

When the matter came up before the First Bench of Chief Justice A K Ganguly and Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla yesterday, counsel R Thyagarajan took notice for the Railway Ministry and the Railway Board and N Chandrasekharan took notice for the CBI.

The court ordered notice to Mr Thomas Varghese.

The bench directed the Railways and the CBI to file affidavits in three weeks. The matter was posted one week after the Puja holidays.

UNI XR SY UCS1109

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