The Allahabad High Court on Saturday restrained the Uttar Pradesh government from arresting SP General Secretary Amar Singh in connection with an FIR lodged at Kanpur in which he has been accused of corrupt practices while his party was in power in the state.
The order was passed by a division bench comprising Justices Yatindra Singh and S K Tripathi on a writ petition by the SP leader whereby he had challenged the FIR filed on 15 October at Babupurwa police station.
The court restrained the state government from arresting the Rajya Sabha MP in connection with the charges levelled in the FIR under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
However, it said the government "was free to approach the central government for getting the charges levelled under Prevention of Money Laundering Act investigated by an appropriate agency which may take appropriate action in course of the trial".
The court also sought a counter-affidavit from the state government by the next date of hearing in the case on January 28, 2010.
In the FIR lodged by Kanpur resident Shivakant Tripathi, Singh has been accused of having committed irregularities to the tune of Rs 500 crore in awarding contracts to various companies while he was the chairman of the state advisory council during the previous Mulayam Singh Yadav regime in UP.
Singh has refuted the allegations and said the Council was an advisory body and it was not within the Chairman's powers to award contracts.
He described the FIR as an act of "political vendetta" bythe BSP government in the state.