NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday began hearing on a plea seeking appointment of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to examine allegations of interference of probe into the coal block allocation scam by former CBI Director Ranjit Sinha. The court said it would hear the matter in detail and pass any order only after giving a full hearing.
The plea by NGO, Common Cause, was opposed by the CBI and Sinha, who alleged that insinuation was being made on the basis of documents including internal official notes which according to the apex court’s May 8, 2013 order cannot be shared. CBI also said it has to be found out as to how the documents had come into the hands of others.
The NGO’s counsel Prashant Bhushan said the court could ask the Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) for the coal scam cases to examine relevant documents, as was done in the 2G spectrum scam cases in which Sinha was asked to keep himself away after the SPP in telecom case termed his action as improper.
However, the CBI’s senior advocate Amarender Sharan defended Sinha saying the entire effort was to derail the investigation and the scope of the coal scam matter should not be widened.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for Sinha, contended that the NGO was citing documents and other internal notings which were neither given to the accused nor to the trial court.
These were freely floating despite the apex court order barring sharing of any documents, he contended.
“If we prima facie find something, we will give it to the SPP,” a bench comprising Justices M B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri said. The court has now slated the case for further hearing on March 16 and said it would take up on March 9 the issues relating to the progress made in the investigation of the coal block allocation scam cases.
The Bench said there was a need to examine what has been done since July 2014, when it had perused the last report into the investigation of the scam.
The Bench will also hear the application filed by Sinha accusing the NGO and its counsel Prashant Bhushan of perjury.
Bhushan claimed the entries in the visitors’ register of Sinha made it clear that he was meeting the high-profile accused and those associated with coal block allocation like Vijay Darda, his son Devendra Darda and former Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahay.