CBI wants “whistle blower“ in `visitors list' issue named

CBI chief Ranjit Sinha has demanded that noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan who provided the Supreme Court with the visitors list of his official residence provide the name of the ''whistle blower'' who gave him access to the list, saying that the complainant cannot claim immunity from disclosing the name of the source.

In his affidavit filed before the Supreme Court on Friday, in compliance with the 8 September order of the apex court directing the CBI chief to respond to the averments made against him, the CBI chief said it is not open to the petitioner to argue his case without disclosing the source from which he got the details of the visitors mentioned in their affidavit.

The apex court had asked Sinha to respond to the plea of Bhushan that Sinha be removed from the 2G scam probe in the wake of his allegations that he met the accused and officials of accused companies at his residence.

Bhushan, counsel for the NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, had sought the CBI chief's removal from 2G spectrum scam probe citing a purported entry register of Sinha's official residence handed to him by a ''whistle blower.''

In his petition, Bhushan had alleged that several accused and officials of accused companies in the 2G scam and other cases have been frequent visitors to Sinha's residence.

''It is not enough to contend that the information was given to the petitioner from a whistle blower because the concept of whistle blower would only arise if one is dealing with crimes committed where the whistle blower needs protection from the persons against whom some disclosure is sought to be made,'' the CBI chief said.

He said the concept of whistle blower's name being kept a secret would arise only when a ''specific'' averment with ''sufficient evidence'' of threat to him is placed before the court and even then petitioner must place the name in a sealed cover for the perusal of the court to determine ''bona fide''.

''In the instant case, there is no averment in the affidavit whatsoever to indicate that the whistle blower is under any kind of threat from anybody so as to claim immunity and non-disclosure of his name,'' the CBI director said.