New Delhi: In a relief to the Uttar Pradesh government, the Supreme Court on Monday stayed a part of the Allahabad High Court order which directed the CBI to probe alleged malpractices in admission to various courses in ‘Ayush’ colleges in the state in 2019.
The order was passed by a vacation bench of justices Dipankar Datta and Manoj Misra on an appeal by the state government. The state government has moved the top court challenging the May 24 order of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court asking the CBI to lodge a case and probe the Prashant Trivedi and others. against former Uttar Pradesh Ayush minister Dharam Singh Saini, then additional chief secretary, Ayush department, Prashant Trivedi and others.
The high court had also asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to submit a status report in the matter by August 1. The HC had passed the order for a CBI probe while allowing the bail plea of Dr Ritu Garg. On Monday, the vacation bench of the top court took note of the submissions of Additional Solicitor General K M Natraj, appearing for the state government, and stayed a portion of the high court order which related to a CBI probe. The top court also issued notices to Garg and others on the plea by the state government. The UP government also assailed the grant of bail to Garg.
Earlier, the high court had allowed the bail application of Garg and heard the statement of Dr Umakant Singh, the officer in-charge, Ayurveda Directorate, who had given a detailed statement to police on how cuts were distributed among the former minister, senior IAS officer Trivedi and other key officials of the Ayush department. "After looking at such wrongdoing by the authorities for admission in undergraduate and post-graduate courses and that too, in the name of compliance of an order of the apex court, depriving the eligible students, as also on finding grave lapses on the part of the investigating agency, which may have fatal consequences for the justice delivery system, this court cannot simply shut its eyes," the high court had said. Garg had moved the bail plea in the high court saying she was falsely implicated in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) 2021-22 fake admissions case.
Granting bail to her, the high court had said the records did not show any evidence indicating her involvement in falsifying the test results. The high court had also noted the investigating officer had recorded the statement of Umakant Singh, who had categorically spoken about corruption in the 2019 admissions and claimed while Saini had taken a bribe of Rs 35 lakh at his residence, Trivedi had pocketed Rs 25 lakh.