Coal block scam: SC panel indicates foul play by ex-CBI chief

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Ranjit-SinhaThe committee appointed to probe coal block scam made a shocking revelation that prima facie evidence shows that former CBI Director Ranjit Sinha had tried to influence the investigation.

This statement came as a blow to the former CBI chief whose image was also tainted in the infamous 2G scam.

Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi informed the bench, headed by Justice Kurian Joseph, Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice AK Sikri that the report by the probe panel set up to investigate the coal block scam, headed by former CBI special director, has found that the visitors diary showed that Sinha had met some of the accused and it appears he had even tried to influence the investigation.

The register was submitted to the panel by activists-lawyer Prashant Bhushan, and the panel concluded after preliminary investigations that the register was genuine.

According to reports, Prashant Bhushan, appearing for NGO ‘common cause’ said, “This court must set up some kind of SIT. Sharma can head the SIT and a couple of officers may be given to him. The report of the Sharma panel should be given to all the parties in the case and they may file their objections.”

However, Ruhtagi told judges that court cannot allow any actions which are based only on reports by the committee and also said that there were “no examples of him arbitrarily upturning decisions”.

“Unless there is evidence in the court of law which says that the visitors’ register is genuine, we may not be able to proceed in the matter,” AG said.

The AG further told the three-member bench that the originality of the visitor’s diary at Ranjit Sinha’s house can be examined in court as evidence.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, who appeared in court on behalf of Sinha, denied the allegations stating that entries in the register were dubious because the former CBI director was not in Delhi on the mentioned days in the register, suggest reports.

“There is not a single case where I (Sinha) have taken a decision contrary to the investigating officers in closing coal cases,” Singh told the court.

The three-member bench reserved its order for further actions against the tainted ex-CBI chief. In April this year, the probing panel had submitted a confidential report to Ruhtagi on Sinha’s role in the investigation.