A PIL filed in the Supreme Court has alleged a grave conflict of interest against former Madhya Pradesh advocate general Rajendra Tiwari with regard to his relations with the state’s chief secretary. It alleges that the former advocate general who passed away in May this year had used his position to help the chief secretary SR Mohanty in clearing his past corruption record removing obstacles from his way to be appointed as the chief secretary.
The counsel for the petitioner told the Supreme Court that advocate Rajendra Tiwari had represented Mohanty when he had approached the MP High Court seeking quashing of FIR filed against him by the State Economic Offences Wing (EOW) for alleged financial irregularities during his tenure as the head of the State Industrial Development Corporation.
After being appointed as the state advocate general in December 2018, Tiwari advised the state government to drop the case against Mohanty. The EOW dropped the charges and Mohanty was made a prosecution witness. Also on Tiwari’s advice, departmental proceedings against Mohanty were dropped. Being free of all charges, Mohanty was subsequently appointed as the Chief Secretary.
The charges against Mohanty were related to alleged irregularities committed in the sanctioning of funds amounting to around 100 crores to dubious companies in violation of numerous norms.The then state government was not informed about these transactions.
The FIR lodged by EOW was quashed by the MP High Court, but EOW subsequently got permission from the Supreme Court to conduct fresh investigations. He was chargesheeted by the EOW for corruption and cheating under the Prevention of Corruption Act and IPC sections.
The High Court in 2013, quashed the chargesheet saying that contrary to SC order, EOW had not conducted any fresh investigations and had relied on old documents. The state’s appeal against the order is still pending in the Supreme Court.