Coal Scam: SC orders CBI to probe its former chief Sinha

Rajat Kain

supreme_court

The Supreme Court has ordered formation of a special investigation team (SIT) to look into the charges against Ranjit Sinha, former Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Sinha is facing allegations of influencing the investigations into the alleged irregularities in coal-block allocations.

The court order came after CBI Spl director ML Sharma-led panel had submitted its findings where it prima facie indicted Ranjit Sinha for scuttling the probe alleged coal scam probe.

In its order today afternoon, the bench headed by Justice MB Lokur told that the SIT will be headed by CBI Director and he can take assistance of two officers with court’s permission.

“Since there has been a change in guard in CBI, we will continue to repose our faith in CBI,” the bench said, while making it clear that it has not expressed its opinion on the writ petition pending before it or the ML Sharma panel report.

RS Cheema, Special Pub Prosecutor in coal scam cases, will assist the CBI Director, his team on legal issues in the matter, ruled the court.

File photo of Ranjit Sinha, former Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

File photo of Ranjit Sinha, former Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The apex court-appointed panel was probing the alleged scuttling of probe into coal block allocation scam cases by Ranjit Sinha, whose meetings with the accused persons were held as “completely inappropriate”.

Earlier, the court had given the initial report of the Sharma committee to the Attorney General for his perusal, as the bench wanted his assistance after the panel had sought a direction for supply of documents relating to a preliminary enquiry into some matters in which the probe was closed.

On December 7, 2015, the court had ordered handing over the original visitors’ diary of the official residence of the former CBI director to the Sharma-led panel.

In July 2014, the apex court had formed a specially designated court in Patiala House complex in New Delhi to hear the cases arising out of the investigations into the alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks.

(With inputs from the Agencies)