SC asks CVC about assistance in probe against ex-CBI chief

New Delhi, Aug 10: The Supreme Court today sought to know from the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) about the assistance it could provide in the probe against former CBI Director Ranjit Sinha who was accused of scuttling investigations in the coal block allocation scam.

"We want to know from the CVC, what assistance we can get from it in the probe," a bench comprising Justices MB Lokur, Kurian Joseph and AK Sikri said while posting the matter for September 7.

SC asks CVC to probe agnst ex-CBI chief

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that he will get back to the Chief Vigilance Commissioner and whether his office can do the inquiry or not and then inform the court.

He said it was because of the fact that the nature of probe against Sinha would be like a police inquiry. Senior advocate Amarender Sharan, appearing for CBI, said instead of going into all this, it would be appropriate to look into the 14 regular cases, which were dealt by Sinha to ascertain any wrong doing on his part.

However, advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, Common Cause, which has accused Sinha of scuttling the probe, submitted that it was a serious matter which cannot be investigated by either the CBI or the CVC and should be entrusted to people having experience in investigation like former apex court judge, Santosh Hegde or former Uttar Pradesh DGP Parkash Singh.

The apex court has chosen former CBI Special Director M L Sharma who has given his consent to assist the CVC in its probe against Sinha.

The Attorney General said Sharma's remuneration and staff support has not yet been finalised. The former CBI officer has sought time to select the officers to assist him in the inquiry. Sharma had on July 6 emerged as the first choice of the Supreme Court to assist the CVC after the anti-corruption watchdog said it did not have its own investigating arm.

The bench had on May 14 admonished Sinha for his "completely inappropriate" meetings with coal scam accused in the absence of investigating officers (IOs) and had said "further inquiry is necessary" to ascertain the fairness and impact of his conduct in the coal scam probe.

The bench, which is monitoring the probe, had sought the CVC's assistance to determine the methodology for conducting such an inquiry on whether his meetings with the accused had any impact on the investigations, the subsequent charge sheets or closure reports filed by the CBI.


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