Date set for Maneka Gandhi hearing


Authorities want ‘unsubstantiated’ case closed

New Delhi: A Special Court has fixed September 26 to consider a CBI report favouring closure of a case lodged against Union Minister Maneka Gandhi and two others for sanctioning Rs 50 lakh grant to a trust allegedly in a “fraudulent” manner in 2001.

The court had earlier refused to accepted the closure filed by the probe agency in the case in 2008 and had asked the CBI to further investigate the matter.

However, the CBI had again approached the court saying “allegations levelled against Gandhi and two others could not be substantiated”.

Senior BJP leader Maneka Gandhi is now the Women and Child Development Minister.

An FIR was lodged by CBI in 2006 against Maneka Gandhi, Dr F U Siddiqui, former secretary of Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF) and Dr Vijay Sharma, former Managing Trustee of Gandhi Rural Welfare Trust (GRWT).

The FIR alleged that Maneka, in conspiracy with Siddiqui, had sanctioned a grant of Rs 50 lakh to GRWT from MAEF in an irregular manner to construct a nursing college building at Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh and caused undue favour to Sharma.

CBI alleged that further an amount of Rs 10.40 lakh was sanctioned to GRWT by S K Verma, the then District Magistrate of Pilibhit, from Maneka’s MPLADS (Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) funds for purchase of two ambulances and the fund was released to Ramakant Rampal, the Managing Trustee of GRWT.

It had alleged that Rampal had purchased two jeeps which had cost much less than the approved models and failed to get them certified by the chief medical officer. The vehicles were also used for personal works by the managing trustee.