In a big relief to IPS officer Hemant Nimbalkar, the Karnataka High Court on Friday quashed the sanction accorded by the government to prosecute him in the IMA case. The court also quashed the First Information Report (FIR) registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the order passed by the Special Court, taking cognisance of the additional charge sheet filed against him by CBI. This comes as a big setback for the CBI which is probing the IMA scam.
According to a TNIE report, Justice John Micheal Cunha has quashed the FIR and sanction against citing that they are â€śillegal and invalidâ€ť under Section 17 A of the Prevention of Corruption Act, which prohibits any enquiry or investigation into offences committed by a public servant over a recommendation or a decision taken while discharging their official duties.
The court also added that the sanction to probe Nimbalkar was given on January 7, 2020, but the investigation into the case was given much earlier. The court also took note of the searches conducted on Nimbalkarâ€™s house and office premises on November 8, 2019.
The court also noted that the allegations made against Nimbalkar are not enough to book him under Section 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) or Section 405 (criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code and under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Nimbalkar was the fifth accused in the CBI FIR in the IMA case, and was among 11 people booked by the CBI under provisions of the IPC as well as Prevention of Corruption Act. The Government had sanctioned orders to prosecute Nimbalkar under the Karnataka Police Act and Prevention of Corruption Act after the CBI first charged him as an accused in 2019 for allegedly clearing a closure report against I-Monetary Advisory, which reportedly enabled them to continue their ponzi schemes.
The CBI had said that public servants, including Nimbalkar, were reluctant to take action against Mohammed Mansoor Khan, the proprietor of IMA, and others associated with the firm having allegedly received illegal gratification.
Nimbalkar had challenged the action against him, stating that he was being targeted. He had said in his plea that the DCP of Bengaluru City, was the competent authority that had failed to take action under the KPID Act, and had not been prosecuted, and therefore, prosecuting him is vindictive and motivated. He claimed that he was not the right authority to be blamed.