A vigilance court in Patna on Friday refused to take cognizance of the chargesheet filed against suspended IAS officer and former Patna District Magistrate Gautam Goswami in connection with the multi-crore flood relief scam on technical grounds.
Designated vigilance judge Srinivas Prasad, in his order on the vigilance bureau's prayer for taking cognizance of the charges against Goswami and ten others, said, "cognizance is not taken against Goswami as sanction for his prosecution from a competent authority has not been made available to the court". The vigilance bureau filed the chargesheet on Thursday.
The court, however, took cognizance of charges against other accused, including alleged kingpin of the scam Santosh Kumar Jha and then additional district magistrate (Patna) Basdeo Prasad. The cognizance was taken in respect of charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988.
When contacted, vigilance department sources said the bureau had approached the state government seeking prosecution sanction against Goswami and a labour department official Virendra Mahato, who has been declared absonder in the case.