Finding prima-facie evidence against the cabinet colleagues of former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao, Additional Sessions Judge S P Garg said there was sufficient material on record against the ministers and 37 others to proceed with the criminal trial against them.
The court would formally frame charges on April 2 in the case against them under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with criminal conspiracy, misappropriation of funds and abuse of official position.
The court, however, discharged four accused who were allotted shops in 1995 for want of prima-facie evidence. The court allowed the plea of special Central Bureau of Investigation prosecutor Naveen Kumar Matta that the accused ministers abused their official position in furtherance of their common intention to gain monetary benefits.
Kaul and former minister of state Thungan and 45 others were charged by the CBI for allegedly hatching a conspiracy in allotting shops and stalls in 1995. The trial against the four accused would be abated as they died during the pre-trial proceedings.