'Hidden hand' behind Bhushan, CBI ex-chief Sinha tells SC

17 March 2015

Backed by Central Bureau of Investigation, the agency's former chief Ranjit Sinha on Monday alleged in the Supreme Court that a "hidden hand" was "controlling the mind" of lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who has hit him with barrage of charges relating to interfering and scuttling the probe into coal mine allocation scandal..

Sinha refused to respond through an affidavit to Bhushan's allegations, which he termed as "incredible" and "ghost".

His response came after the CBI said that Bhushan, who is appearing for the NGO Common Cause, was settling personal scores, and quietus must be given to the matter which was not only hurting the institution but also demoralising it.

He and the CBI were responding to the plea by Common Cause that in view of the allegations which were substantiated by the surfacing of the entry register at Sinha's residence showing that he had met high-profile accused in the 'coalgate' scam several times, including at midnight, this warrants a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) instead of the CBI.

Rubbishing the allegations, Sinha's senior counsel Vikas Singh alleged that the file notings placed by Bhushan to substantiate charges against the CBI's former director was in violation of the apex court's two orders of 2013 and 2014, which had said that no document relating to the matter be shared with anyone, and as such it was not only a violation of its orders but his action was also in contravention of the Official Secrets Act.

His counsel also said that as the chief of the agency, Sinha never overruled the unanimous stand of his subordinates on prosecutions, and it should be probed how a Mumbai-based newspaper published the contents of the entry register of his residence and came out with a story that it was going to be placed in the apex court by Bhushan, who himself confesses that a whistleblower handed him that late evening before the story came out.

Bhushan was a leading light of the Aam Admi Party till recently, when he got estranged from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his closest colleagues.

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