The CBI informed the Supreme Court on Thursday that it will not file closure reports on its own in the coal block allocation scam.
Taking into account the CBI’s oral submission, a Bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha, said, “It is now understood that they (CBI) will not file the closure report.”
The CBI was accused by Common Cause, an NGO, of unfair probe into the scam, and that there were instances when the agency filed closure reports in regular cases without seeking the opinion of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). The Bench also took note of cases where senior officials of the CBI had overruled the investigating officers, after filing the regular cases and chargesheets. It directed the CBI to place files relating to all preliminary enquires before the CVC.
According to CBI sources, the agency had no issues if the CVC looked into the closed cases. However, it should not be the last deciding factor. The CBI contended that in regular cases, it couldn’t take the opinion of the CVC, as it would be contrary to the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which makes it mandatory for the probe agency to file charge sheets in competent courts.
The court, which posted July 8 as the next date of hearing, also asked the CBI and Enforcement Directorate to place before it by July 7, the status report on probe till June 30. The court made it clear that its clearance to the CBI Director to accept the recusal of its Joint Director O P Galhotra from all coalgate cases, “should not be treated that adverse observations have been made against him.”
“Since O P Galhotra, the Joint Director has sought to recuse himself from cases of coal block allocation, and his request has been accepted by the CBI Director. Nothing further needs to be said. By accepting the recusal of Galhotra, it is made clear that it should not be treated as an adverse comment relating to his professional commitment,” the Bench noted.