In a set back to Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh, the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday refused to grant stay on his arrest in connection with an FIR accusing him of amassing Rs 500 crore by awarding contracts to a number of companies.
A division bench comprising Justice Yatindra Singh and Justice S K Tripathi declined to grant an immediate stay on Singh's arrest, saying "the matter involves a huge sum of Rs 500 crore.
"It would not be appropriate to grant an ex-parte interim order at this stage," it said.
The court also directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file its counter-affidavit on the writ petition moved by Singh challenging the FIR lodged against him on October 15 in Kanpur.
Complainant Shivakant Tripathi, who has been made a respondent in the case, was also asked to file his counter- affidavit by the next date of hearing on December 4.
The FIR has accused Singh of having amassed Rs 500 crore by awarding contracts to a number of companies in his capacity as the then Chairman of Uttar Pradesh Development Council when the state was under SP rule.
Earlier, Singh's counsel Rakesh Dwivedi had pleaded that a stay order be granted as the BSP government in the state could arrest the petitioner "to settle political scores as it had recently done in the case of state Congress President Rita Bahuguna Joshi".
However, it was stated by government advocate D R Chaudhary that the state government was "not in a hurry to make arrests in connection with the FIR."
The allegations made in the FIR were refuted by Singh's lawyer, who contended that "the Council was an advisory body and it was not within the powers of its Chairman to award contracts to any company".
The court observed that in view of the government advocate's statement that the authorities had no plans to make arrests in the immediate future, there was no urgent need for passing a stay order. PTI