New Delhi, Jul 15: Supreme Court today refused to order a court-monitored probe into the alleged role of political leaders, including UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in the Augusta westland chopper scam, as the Centre said a SIT probe was already on and the charge sheet is likely to be filed this year.
A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra, which had earlier issued the notice to the Centre and others including CBI, disposed of the PIL that sought a probe against political heavyweights whose names were allegedly referred to in the Italian court's verdict.
During the hearing, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said the petition was infructuous as the relief sought in it has already been addressed by lodging of an FIR in 2013.
A Special Investigating Team (SIT) has been set up and the chargesheet in the case will be filed soon, he added. Taking the submissions of Solicitor General on record, the bench disposed of the PIL and also directed expunction of remarks made in the petition that some alleged accused were awarded constitutional posts.
Petitioner advocate M L Sharma alleged that FIR was not lodged against persons whose names have been referred to in the Italian court's verdict and no investigation was done against those who were allegedly involved in reducing the ceiling height of VVIP chopper.
To this, Solicitor General said the investigation was still on and no accused against whom there is evidence will be spared. "Nobody is above law. If there are evidence against anyone in the case, he or she will be booked as per law.
Charge sheet is likely to be filed this year against the accused," Kumar said. The apex court, however, granted liberty to Sharma to approach it again if the CBI does not book any accused in the case despite having evidence against him or her.
The court had on May 6 sought the Centre's reply on the PIL. CBI had in 2013 registered a case in connection with alleged bribes paid by the firm to Indians to clinch the deal for 12 helicopters to ferry VVIPs including the President and Prime Minister.