SBI and RBI alone can answer the Rs 570 cr question
CHENNAI: The Reserve Bank of India and the State Bank of India alone can give their reply to their alleged involvement in the transportation of `570 crore, its counsel S Srinivasan, who is also the Assistant Solicitor General, told the Madras High Court on Wednesday.
The ASG made the statement when a writ petition from DMK MP and Press Relations Secretary TKS Elangovan, praying for a direction to transfer the case to the CBI, came up before Justice R Subbiah on Wednesday.
Srinivasan told the judge that the petitioner had not included the two banks, against whom he had levelled various allegations of forgery, falsification of records and connivance with the persons, who transported the huge money, as respondents in the case. They alone can deny the allegations and explain what had really happened. Normally, the CBI investigates only the cases of international ramifications or where the Central government employees are involved, he added.
Petitioner’s senior counsel P Wilson claimed that the huge sum was tainted hawala money transported for bribing the voters during the Assembly election. He also alleged that the bank officials had conspired with some persons who transported the money and created documents to claim that it is SBI money. The moment an offence is alleged and attracted Sec. 154 CrPC, it is the duty of the CBI to register a case.
In this connection, he cited Lalitha Kumari case, in which the Supreme Court had clearly said that the CBI need not go into the truthfulness of the case at the complaint stage. The complaint has to be registered and in case the crime attracted the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, then the CBI must conduct a preliminary inquiry. Even if the complaint does not establish commission of a cognisable offence, the agency must close the case only after informing the complainant. Even in its counter filed on Tuesday, the CBI has not stated that a cognizable offence is not made out. On the other hand, it has sought appropriate orders alone and not dismissal of the petition, Wilson pointed out.
As for the claim of the CBI that it would probe only cases of international ramifications, Wilson referred to the statement of the Chief Vigilance Commissioner that the CBI must form a separate cell to probe bank fraud cases.
After listening to the arguments advanced by the counsel for both the sides, the judge reserved his orders.