SC for CBI reply on AAP's plea for return of seized docs from Kejriwal's office

AAP contended that CBI under the garb of search warrant cannot seize documents indiscriminately.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought response from CBI on Delhi government's plea to return them the documents seized during raids at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's principal secretary Rajendra Kumar's office here in December last.

A bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and P C Pant also issued notice to CBI on AAP government's plea challenging the Delhi High Court decision allowing the probe agency to retain the documents seized during raids.

It had put on hold the trial court's direction to hand over the seized documents to the Kejriwal government.

CBI had raided office of Kumar on December 15 last year and registered a corruption case against him and others alleging "he had abused his official position by favouring a particular firm in the last few years in getting tenders from a Delhi government department".

While seeking stay on operation of February 10 decision of the High Court, Delhi government alleged that there was "illegality in passing the order and setting aside the well- reasoned decision of the trial court".

It said, "CBI under the garb of search warrant cannot seize documents indiscriminately which are not in any way related to the case".

Senior advocate Rajiv Dhawan, representing Delhi government, submitted that the "investigating agency cannot enjoy absolute immunity not to reveal the relevance of the documents seized during investigation until the stage of filing of the chargesheet".

Delhi government in its plea contended that the trial court had rightly held that the court has all the powers to refrain CBI from abusing its authority during the search.

The high court, however, in its February 10 judgement had overturned the trial court decision directing CBI to return original documents seized during raids, saying the lower court had "exceeded its jurisdiction".

It had said the observations of the special judge in his January 20 order directing CBI to hand over the original documents to Delhi government, were "neither justifiable nor desirable" and tantamounted to "unnecessary interference in the investigation".

The high court order had come on CBI's plea challenging the January 20 order, claiming that the trial court's decision would interfere with probe which was at the initial stage.

( Source : PTI )
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