Special CBI Judge Narottam Kaushal pulled up the CBI, which filed the closure report in a case of cheating of the National Insurance Company 30 years ago, saying that three of the accused had died and documents of the case are missing.

"It is directed that the matter be looked into by the appropriate authority to fix the responsibility of officers of CBI who delayed the investigation for a period of almost 30 years," the court said, directing that a copy be sent to the CBI Director.

The court, however, accepted the closure report, saying as the relevant records are not available, it has no option but to accept the closure report.

"Considering the facts that the relevant records are not available, this court has no option but to accept the closure report. Death of three accused persons, and the fourth one being 92 years of age, has created a situation of fait¬accompli,” the judge said.

"In the facts and circumstances, I am of the opinion that there is no reason to direct further investigation. The closure report submitted by investigating officer Inspector Y S Yadav is accepted," the judge added.

The case pertains to one D N Sarkar, who was accused of conspiring with officials of National Insurance Company - R S Bhandari, G S Narang, Arvind Bery - and cheating the insurance firm by facilitating a false insurance claim.

Sarkar had sought claim on the ground that while traveling by Japan Airlines, he had suffered bursting of ear drum, resulting in total deafness in the left ear.

The four men were booked for the offences of criminal conspiracy and cheating under the IPC and under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act relating to criminal misconduct in discharge of official duty.

Earlier, the CBI had filed a closure report in the case in March 1984 on the ground that medical advice had revealed possibility of injury being caused during air travel, because of pressure difference, leading to deafness in the ear.

It was, however, rejected in August 1985 by another judge who had directed the CBI to further investigate the case.

The court had then observed that the investigating agency had not even collected the insurance policy of Sarkar and that there was no evidence of a possible ear drum bursting by such air travel and no official of Japan Airlines had been examined.

Special Judge Kaushal said that none of the issues pointed out by the previous judge have been further investigated and answered.

"A perusal of the (closure) report revealed that the three accused persons expired in 2004 and 2005 i.e. almost 20 years, after matter had been referred for re¬investigation,” the court said.

"There, of course, is no explanation as to why the matter was not re-investigated for 20 years, during lifetime of the accused persons. There is also no explanation as to why record was allowed to be misplaced and frittered away,” the court added.

"Closure is now sought on the ground that three of the accused have expired and relevant record is missing and is not available," the court further said and accepted the closure report.

(Agencies)

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