In a set-back to the former CBI Director Ranjit Sinha, the top court has sought a civil probe over him holding meetings with the accused in 2G and coal allocation irregularities. Terming the meetings as “inappropriate” the Supreme Court has observed that the “matter needs to be investigated”. The court has sought the assistance of Central Vigilance Commission in the probe.
“We see merits in the submission. It is inappropriate on the part of CBI Director to meet persons in the absence of Investigating Officers,” the bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokus, Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri said while observing that there are merits in the argument put forth by the complainant.
The bench was hearing on the PIL filed by Delhi-based NGO Common Cause. The petitioners were represented by ex-AAP leader and lawyer Prashant Bhushan. The PIL has sought a probe by Special Investigating Team (SIT) under the watch of SC as it alleged that the CBI director Ranjit Sinha had purportedly misused his position by meeting the accused of high profile criminal matters at his official residence in Delhi. The court has further asked the CVC to file a report on the entire issue by the 6th of July.
The petitioners had annexed entries in the visitors’ register of the former CBI Director’s residence to strengthen their allegations of impropriety against the former chief of top investigating agency. They had argued the need for a court-monitored probe to ascertain if there was “any consideration or the exchanged hands”.
Bringing the matter before the Supreme Court last year, the lawyer for petitioners Prashant Bhushan had argued that the ACB of Delhi Police had not lodged the FIR on the complaint.
On the other hand, Ranjit Sinha had opposed the plea claiming that the entire PIL was motivated. Sinha had also demanded prosecution against Prashant Bhushan for alleged perjury.
“There is not a single case in which Sinha overruled the unanimous opinion of the officers working under him with regard to recommending closure in which they have recommended conversion to a regular case,” Sinha’s lawyer had argued before the bench.
After hearing the two sides, court had reserved the matter for its judgement on 13th April.
In its order today, the Supreme Court bench had also also dismissed Sinha’s plea seeking prosecution of lawyer Prashant Bhushan.