The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court on Friday issued a notice to Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, run by Union minister Salman Khurshid and his wife Louis, on a PIL seeking direction for the lodging of an FIR and also monitoring by the court in the case related to the Trust.
The order was passed by a bench of Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice Satish Chandra.
Through a notice, the bench sought a reply from the Trust on whether the allegedly misappropriated fund could be deposited with the social justice and empowerment department.
The bench had on January 16 sought a report from the Economic Offences wing of Uttar Pradesh on the investigation into alleged irregularities in the matter of the Trust.
As directed by the bench, the investigating officer of EOW S K Singh appeared before the court, along with a progress report and other records.
Singh told the bench that so far, the statements of 37 witnesses have been recorded and misappropriation was alleged in 17 districts, amounting to Rs 1.3 crore.
The bench fixed February 21 as the next date of hearing.
The petitioner Nutan Thakur had in her PIL prayed to the court to direct the principal secretary (home) of the Uttar Pradesh government and the Economic Offences Wing of the state police to immediately lodge an FIR on the basis of the primary investigation conducted by the Viklang Kalyan department and the Social Welfare department in pursuance of Ministry of Social Justice notice as sent to EOW by the state and to investigate the matter in accordance with law.
It was also prayed in the petition that the court monitor the investigation.
Six parties, including the state government, the central government, TV channel Aaj Tak and Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, were arrayed as the respondents in the PIL.
The bench had on October 15 last year issued a notice to Aaj Tak, directing it to produce the document related to the matter of Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust.
The EOW of UP Police had already started a probe into the matter following the government order on July 3 last year.