Mining scam: Stay on arrest, nod to trial

New Delhi: Two accused of Rajasthan’s biggest mining scam have got temporary relief from the Supreme Court. The court has stayed Pankaj Gehlot and Shyam Sunder Singhvi’s arrest till February 10. However, both the accused will have to face the trial after the SC refused to grant stay on it.

Gehlot and Shyam Sunder had filed SLP against Rajasthan high court order. The apex court accepted their petitions and converted their arrest warrant issued by special designated court for money laundering cases into bail warrant.

While, they got relief from immediate arrest but the Supreme Court has asked enforcement directorate (ED) to file an affidavit about conduct of both the accused i.e. when they skipped the hearing in the lower court. Both the accused will now have to appear before special designated court for money laundering cases on February 7.

However, the apex court rejected Shyam Sunder Singhvi’s SLP, which he had withdrawn. Shyam Sunder had challenged Rajasthan high court order, which had refused to stay on the special money laundering court’s cognizance of the case against him. Shyam Sunder had requested the Supreme Court that he wanted to withdraw this petition after which Justice U U Lalit rejected his SLP.

Earlier, the single bench of Justice Ashok Gaur had quashed 11 petitions filed by former AS Ashok Singhvi, Pankaj Gehlot, Shyam Sunder Singhvi and eight other accused on January 24. They had challenged the lower court’s decision to take cognizance of corruption charges against them and issue arrest warrant against them.Last month, the special court for money laundering cases had declared Shyam Sunder, Pankaj Gehlot, Sanjay Sethi and Dhirendra Singh absconder and issued standing arrest warrant against them. Gehlot, Sethi and Shyam Sunder had already got relief when the single bench of Justice S P Sharma rejected ED court’s order to forfeit their bail but asked them to appear before the ED court on February 17.

The ACB had unearthed corruption racket in state’s mining department in 2015. Despite, a central government circular to ban new mines allotment in October 2014, the accused had allotted 653 mines between November 2014 and January 2015.