Coalgate: SC to Look into Alleged Meddling by Sinha
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday decided to examine the allegations of interference and scuttling of investigation into the coal block allocation scam by former CBI Director Ranjit Sinha, who had refuted the charge.
“We have to take a call. Either, we have to agree with you (CBI) or with him (NGO’s counsel making allegations),” a Bench headed by Justice M B Lokur said while posting it for hearing on February 16, when it will also hear the application filed by Sinha accusing the NGO and its counsel Prashant Bhushan of perjury.
Sinha’s counsel Vikas Singh contended that the judicial records spoke for itself that false and malicious allegations have been levelled against Sinha and “it cannot be that just because he is Bhushan he can get away with any lie”.
Bhushan said the entries in the visitors’ register of the former CBI Director made it clear that he was meeting the high-profile accused and those associated with coal block allocations like Vijay Darda, his son Devendra Darda and former Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahay, and added that there was a need for a court-monitored SIT investigation to ascertain “whether any consideration had exchanged hands”.
“If there is so much of evidence on record that this gentleman (Sinha) at so many times had meetings with the accused and tried to change the course of the probe and manoeuvre the situation for closing cases, then this court has to find out how this gentleman goes on meeting dozens of times and manoeuvres the investigation,” Bhushan submitted while reading out his note.
Senior advocate Amarender Sharan, appearing for the CBI, contended that several contents including one about him (Sharan) in Bhushan’s notes were factually incorrect. However, Bhushan said all these allegations could be examined by the court-appointed Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) for conducting the prosecution of cases arising from the scam and the court could take a call on his report.
Bhushan submitted that R S Cheema, the SPP in the coal scam cases, has disagreed with Sinha’s decisions to file closure reports in several FIRs despite the fact that evidence of criminal culpability had been found against several companies, influential accused and public servants.
SC Pulls up Gujarat Govt
The Supreme Court on Monday sought an explanation from the Gujarat government over its alleged failure to provide requisite information relating to two coal block allocations to the CBI for its probe into coalgate.