UP should be happy about CBI probe of accused official: SC

The Supreme Court, dismissing a petition by the Uttar Pradesh state government challenging a high court directive for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe of corruption charges against former NOIDA chief engineer Yadav Singh, today said the state government should instead be happy about the probe ordered by the Allahabad High Court.

"We sincerely feel that the case requires investigation by the CBI. Let the CBI investigate the matter," a bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu said while rejecting the submission of senior advocate Kapil Sibal that another independent agency other than the CBI be entrusted with the probe.

Sibal, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, told the bench that it was "putting too much trust on the CBI", which was being used to "destablise" and "paralyse" the entire state government

However, his submission did not find favour with the bench, also comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy, which said that while appearing for Congress leader Digvijay Singh in the Vyapam matter, Sibal imposed full trust on the CBI probe.

"The moment you came for CBI probe in Vyapam matter, didn't we entrust it to the CBI," the bench asked Sibal, who was arguing that "let the matter (Yadav Singh case) go to some other agency like Special Investigating Team."

While justifying the High Court order, the bench said, "Uttar Pradesh should be happy that the matter is now with the CBI."

Sibal, however, said that the state government was never for the CBI probe into the matter as it was being looked after by a Judicial Commission.

He also made an attempt to target the Centre for the PIL, which led to the CBI probe into the case by questioning the jurisdiction of the apex-court appointed Special Investigating Team (SIT) on black money, which recommended a thorough probe into the assets of Yadav Singh.

"Is this the jurisdiction of SIT? Can a joint secretary write this type of letter? What is this SIT on black money has to do with the matter of Uttar Pradesh," the senior advocate and Congress leader submitted.

Sibal said the SIT was set up on the petition of expelled BJP leader Ram Jethmalani and others for taking steps to bring back black money stashed in foreign banks.

Expressing its disinclination to entertain the petition of the Uttar Pradesh Government, the bench said it was for Yadav Singh, who is the affected party here, to consider challenging the order on the CBI probe.

"Let that gentleman (Yadav Singh) come here. What has the state of Uttar Pradesh to do in this? If a person feels that the High Court should not have entrusted the probe to CBI, he should himself come," the bench said.

The bench said, "Generally we are slow in entrusting matter to the CBI. But after going through the order of the High Court, we feel the High Court is justified in ordering CBI probe."

When Sibal realised that the bench had made up its mind to stick to CBI probe, he said there should be an order that the High Court would monitor the investigation.

 "We permit Uttar Pradesh Government to make an application in the High Court seeking monitoring of the probe," the bench said but declined the plea that the investigation be entrusted to any independent agency like SIT.