In the case of Trivendra Singh Rawat v. Umesh Sharma, the Supreme Court on Wednesday quashed an order from the Uttarakhand High Court from 2020 that directed the CBI to look into charges of corruption made by two journalists against the State’s then-Chief Minister, TS Rawat.
The first information report (FIR) against the journalists was the only request made in their appeal to the High Court, according to a bench of Justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar, who noted that no such requests had been made in the case.
Contextually, the Court added that Rawat was not a party to the proceedings and was not given a chance to be heard before the order was made. The Court said, “It is expressly stated that the orders are set aside on the aforesaid grounds alone.”
In a video made public in June 2020, it was claimed that Rawat received a bribe of 25 lakh in 2016 from a man named Amratesh Singh Chauhan in exchange for his appointment as the chairman of the Gau Seva Ayog of Jharkhand.
At the time, Rawat was the BJP’s state representative for Jharkhand. The bribe money is said to have been deposited in a number of bank accounts, including those of Dr. Harender Singh Rawat and his wife Savita Rawat (Rawat’s sister).
The criminal charges against HS Rawat and Savita Rawat were subsequently dropped after the High Court found that the allegations of fraud, cheating, and conspiracy were not supported by sufficient evidence.
After single-judge Justice Ravindra Maithani determined that there were certain lingering difficulties in the case while allowing three writ petitions to halt criminal proceedings against the initial complainants, Rawat sought the top court.
After then, the High Court came to the conclusion that Rawat’s accusations of corruption deserved further investigation. In order to investigate the claims made, Justice Maithani had ordered the Superintendent of Police, CBI Dehradun, to file a case.