Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik to register an FIR against Mumbai Congress President Kripashankar Singh for criminal misconduct under the Prevention of Corruption Act and has asked the Commissioner to attach all immovable properties belonging to Singh and his family.
Kripashankar Singh has resigned as Mumbai Congress chief following the court directive.
The court has also asked the Commissioner to obtain sanction from the government for his prosecution.
"The commissioner of police shall obtain sanction from the government to prosecute Kripashankar Singh for criminal misconduct under the Prevention of Corruption Act," a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi said.
The bench further said that the CP Arup Patnaik shall collect documentary evidence regarding all movable and immovable properties of Kripashankar and his family, including his wife, son and daughter-in-law, who will also be prosecuted for aiding in the crime.
"The immovable properties of Kripashankar shall be attached. We do not want to pass any directions regarding the bank accounts of the respondents as it is alleged that the money might have been washed out," the court said.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by activist Sanjay Tiwari, who alleged that the Congress MLA had amassed wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income.
The Mumbai Anti-Corruption Bureau, the CBI and the ED will have to file a status report in the case by April 19.
"The PIL shall be treated as FIR and the report submitted by the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in March 2011 showing Kripashankar's income and expenditure shall be treated as investigation," the court said.
A prayer by Kripashankar's lawyer seeking a stay on the order was rejected.
Tiwari has alleged in the petition that Singh had been close to former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, currently in jail for alleged involvement in a multi-crore hawala scam.
He alleged that several monetary transactions had taken place between them.
Singh's son Narendra Mohan is married to Ankita, daughter of Kamlesh Singh, who was a minister in the Koda cabinet, and is now in jail in connection with the hawala scam. Ankita had received Rs 1.75 crore in her account from Kamlesh, the PIL said, adding there were huge transactions from the bank accounts of Kripashankar's wife Malti Devi too.
Kripashankar's counsels had opposed the PIL, calling it politically motivated and one that served BJP's interests.
"It is a Political Interest Litigation filed to malign the image of Singh and his family. Petitioner Sanjay Tiwari, under the garb of RTI activist, is riding piggyback on the interests of BJP. It is a case between BJP and Congress," said senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Singh.
Earlier, the CBI and the ED had told the Bombay High Court that no charges could be made out against him.
(With additional information from PTI)