NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today ordered handing over of original visitors' diary of the official residence of ex-CBI director Ranjit Sinha to a court-appointed panel to probe whether his meetings with accused and others led to botching up of investigation in Coalgate cases.
The visitors' log book, which was lying in sealed cover with another bench hearing 2G cases, be given to the panel headed by former special director CBI M L Sharma who will have to share the contents with other probe team members only and file a report in the court within 12 weeks, a three-judge bench headed by Justice M B Lokur said.
The bench, also comprising justices Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri, further said that the stipulated 12 weeks time, granted to the court-appointed panel, would begin from the day it receives the documents. Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the former CBI Director, reiterated his stand that the alleged meetings alone cannot "per se" be termed objectionable as the real test would be whether those meetings led to according of favours to any named accused or other persons.
The bench, meanwhile, did not pass any order on the plea seeking a direction to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) that the panel be given documents of those cases where the CVC did not favour prosecution. "Let him (Sharma) make a request. We are not saying 'yes' or 'no' at the moment. In any case, he cannot sit in judgement on the decisions of the CVC," the court said.
Initially, it was said that the panel will have access of all requisite documents, Prashant Bhushan, appearing for NGO Common Cause, said. "At the moment, he (Sharma) does not have the (visitors) register, the primary document," the bench said.
The court had on May 14 admonished Sinha for his "completely inappropriate" meetings with coal scam accused in the absence of investigating officers (IOs), saying that "further inquiry is necessary" to ascertain the fairness and impact of his conduct in the coalgate probe.