The Vasundhara Raje-Lalit Modi controversy has barely died down, but the Chief Minister of Rajasthan is still in the news. This time a seven-year-old case involving antique Iranian carpets, has cropped up again.
- The Rajasthan High Court on 22 July issued notices to the state government asking why a CBI probe should not be ordered in the theft of case of 2009.
- Justice MN Bhandari issued the notices to CS Rajan, chief secretary, and RK Nair, principal secretary to home, on the basis of a writ filed by Ram Singh Kaswa.
What is the case?
- During Raje's first tenure as chief minister of Rajasthan from 2003 to 2008, as many as eight carpets, believed to be priceless Iranian antiques, had mysteriously gone missing.
- In 2009, under the Ashok Gehlot government, the Public Works Department (PWD) had filed a theft case with the police in connection with the missing carpets.
- It was alleged that the Raje government had ordered that the Iranian carpets at the state-owned Khasa Kothi hotel be transferred to the chief minister's office (CMO).
- After the order, the antique carpets were removed from the hotel but they never reached the CMO.
- Kaswa had filed a complaint with the state's anti-corruption bureau in which he had named Raje's ex-OSD Dhirendra Kamthan along with a PWD engineer.
- As no action had been taken by the police, a petition had been filed in the state High Court for a CBI probe. The High Court took cognisance and has issued the notices to the state government asking why the CBI shouldn't investigate the case.