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Plea against Bhattal dismissed

By Our Legal Correspondent

NEW DELHI, APRIL 12. The Supreme Court today dismissed a special leave petition (SLP) filed by the Punjab Government seeking re-investigation in a corruption case relating to alleged misappropriation of Rs. 20 lakhs by the Deputy Chief Minister, Rajender Kaur Bhattal, from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund, when she headed the State Government in the late 1990s.

A Bench, comprising Justice Y. K. Sabharwal and Justice B. N. Agrawal, dismissed the SLP at the notice stage itself observing "there is no merit in it."

The Punjab Government in its SLP had challenged the January 27 order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissing its petition seeking re-investigation and deferring of framing of charges by stating that it would not be in the interest of justice.

The Additional Solicitor-General, Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Punjab Government submitted that since the charges had been framed, the Government wanted to take into account a file containing details of disbursement of Rs. 20 lakhs, found in the Secretariat subsequently.

The Punjab police had charge-sheeted Ms. Bhattal in November 2000 for allegedly misappropriating the amount from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund when she was the Chief Minister of the State.

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