Ex-CBI director Ranjit Sinha tried to `influence’ coal scam probe: SC panel

12 Jul 2016


A Supreme Court-appointed panel has found convincing proof of the role of former Central Bureau of Investigation director Ranjit Sinha in derailing the coal scam probe.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the Supreme Court that the committee appointed to inquire into whether former CBI director Ranjit Sinha had tried to ''influence'' investigations into the suspected coal scam had found the accusations prima facie true.

Rohatgi, who was provided with the copy of the interim report, said he had gone through the report of the panel headed by former CBI special director ML Sharma

The panel said that "prima facie it seems that ex-CBI director Ranjit Sinha did try to influence probe in coal scam," says an ANI report.

The attorney general representing the government said that there is no evidence of Sinha arbitrarily changing decisions.

However, the probe panel found Sinha's visitor diary genuine.

The SC decided to reserve its order to decide on what action to be taken against Sinha in view of the panel's finding.

It was activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan who, in September 2014, handed over the purported entry register of the then CBI director Ranjit Sinha's official residence showing alleged visits of representatives of companies facing agency's probe.

CBI Spokesperson Kanchan Prasad had said the purported diary carrying several entries has been received by the agency and is being examined.

CBI had earlier played down the existence of any such entry register being maintained at the official residence of its director. The issue was raised by NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), one of the PIL petitioners on whose plea 122 licences for 2G spectrum were cancelled by the apex court.

"Last night I came across very disturbing and explosive material. The entry register of director's residence," Bhushan, representing the NGO, had then stated before the Supreme Court.

He also referred to a news report which claimed that top executives of a company indicted in 2G scam had met the CBI director at his residence in the last 15 months.

"If you can give the copy of the material to us, CBI and director's counsel, we can take up the matter day after tomorrow," a bench comprising justices HL Dattu, SA Bobde and AM Sapre said.

The bench had asked CPIL to make its submission by way of affidavit and posted the hearing for Thursday when it will also hear the NGO's application seeking recusal of Sinha from all 2G matters allegedly for trying to protect some influential accused in the scam.

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