May 4, 2016 9:23:19 pm
The CBI on Wednesday strongly refuted in the Supreme Court the claim made in a news report that a letter was written to its Director by one of the officers, probing the coal scam cases, that some matters have been opened and closed in lieu of extraneous considerations.
“No IO (Investigating Officer) has given any such application,” senior advocate Amrendra Sharan, appearing for CBI, told the bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri.
The submission from the probe agency came after advocate M L Sharma, who had filed PIL in the coal scam, referred to a news report that a CBI officer had written to the Director alleging that probes in as many as 20 cases have been botched by some IOs on receiving money.
He also said that the court should seek the copy of the alleged letter.
Meanwhile, the bench asked the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate to file “updated” reports, indicating the progress made by them in coal scam cases and adjourned the hearing till May 11 at the request of Saran, the counsel for CBI.
“A Sharan has handed over a Note on Administrative Issues filed on May 4, 2016 and a Bird’s eye view of investigation (from Jan 1 to April 30, 2016) filed by the Directorate of Enforcement and Progress Report No 16 filed by the CBI on May 4. List the writ petition along with the aforesaid reports and earlier sealed reports filed in this matter on May 11 at 2.00 pm,” the bench said.
During brief hearing, advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for NGO ‘Common Cause’, said the CBI should consider providing records of some cases as asked by the M L Sharma panel.
The apex court-appointed panel is investigating alleged scuttling of probe into coal block allocation scam cases by then CBI Director Ranjit Sinha whose meetings with accused persons have been held as “completely inappropriate”.
The court has sought the assistance of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi on May 11 when it will again take up the matter.
Earlier, the court had received an initial report of the Sharma panel and given that to the Attorney General for his perusal on condition of maintaining its confidentiality.
The copy of the report was given to the Attorney General as the bench wanted his assistance after the Sharma panel had sought apex court’s direction for supply of documents relating to preliminary enquiry into some of the matters in which the probe was closed.
In its report, the panel said it is still continuing with its inquiry into the allegations that Sinha’s meetings with accused and others had led to botching up of investigation in the Coalgate cases.
The bench had said the after the submissions are made on the report by Rohatgi, it will see whether the copy of the report of the panel can be given to other parties or not.
Rohatgi had opposed giving the report to other parties, saying “PEs (preliminary enquiry) registered by CBI were examined by CVC. There is no point that the report be given to other parties.”
On December 7 last year, the court had ordered handing over of original visitors’ diary of the official residence of ex-CBI director to Sharma-led panel.
It had sought the assistance of the CVC to determine the methodology for conducting an inquiry on whether his meetings with the accused had any impact on the investigations and subsequent charge sheets or closure reports filed by the CBI.
The bench then appointed a panel headed by Sharma who later sought the visitors’ diary for proceeding with the probe.
As the visitors’ diary was sealed by an order of a bench, hearing 2G cases, the three-judge bench, which hears the coal scam matters, said it would be appropriate that the CJI-headed bench decides whether the Sharma panel can be given the sealed diary or not.
The CJI eferred back the matter to the bench, which ordered handing over the diary to the panel.
Sharma had also asked the CVC to make available to him its comments on CBI probe into 254 coal blocks allocation.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.