2G, Coalgate scam and more: CBI chief Ranjit Sinha's controversial guest list
CBI chief Ranjit Sinha was dragged into fresh controversy in the 2G spectrum allocation case for meeting controversial 2G beneficiaries accused in the case
Facing allegations of impropriety in meeting with accused in various cases that are being investigated by the organisation he heads, a new report has alleged that CBI chief Ranjit Sinha met them at his residence at all times of the day.
Among those who visited the CBI chief include Congress MP Vijay Darda, his son Devendra Darda, meat exporter Moin Qureshi who was raided by the Income Tax department recently, the promoter of Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd (HFCL) and alleged beneficiary in 2G scam Mahendra Nahata, a consultant who figured in Radia tapes Deepak Talwar, former CBI chief AP Singh, and former ADAG officials Tony Jesudasan and A N Sethuraman.
While Devendra Darda made five visits in the given time, Mahendra Nahata topped the number of trips with 71 visits but claimed that he was a family friend of the CBI chief. Moin Qureshi comes the close second with 70 trips and Talwar visited the CBI chief on 54 occasions. There were days when Qureshi visited Sinha’s residence twice, and ones when he was accompanied by his wife, says the IE report.
According to a report in the DNA, Deepak Talwar, known for brokering telecom and aviation deals, made 29 visits to the director's 2, Janpath residence between May 2013 and December 2013, when the CBI was investigating the Radia tapes. The logbook reveals that in 2014 till August, Talwar made 34 visits to the CBI director’s residence.
The CBI chief has claimed that the entry list is fake and that the visits by the persons were personal and did not indicate criminality.
This comes at a time when activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan has alleged that Sinha has been meeting people linked to those accused in the 2G case.
Speaking to the Economic Times Prashant Bhushan said that the entry register at the CBI director's home contains several thousand handwritten entries with the name of the person, the car numbers, the time at which he came in, he went out with the date. Bhushan said it will show desperation on CBI or Sinha's part if they try to deny the existence of this register because this can easily be authenticated from the guards who were at the residence of the director because they maintain this register.
The CBI chief on Thursday appealed to the Supreme Court that media be kept out of the proceedings but the apex court turned down Sinha's plea. While the SC has been informed of Sinha's "meetings" with officials of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) - whose officials are under lens for their role in the 2G case - the top court has postponed the hearing of Bhushan's plea in this case to Monday.
Late in August, Prashant Bhushan's NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, requested the apex court to direct CBI chief Ranjit Sinha to stay away from the 2G scam probe, alleging that he has repeatedly tried to scuttle the investigation into the massive swindle.
According to a report in the Times of India Sinha's lawyer Vikas Singh on Monday had dismissed Bhushan's charge as an attempt to damage CBI's credibility. He called the diary, maintained by security guards, a fake, but also conceded that some of the entries were correct. Speaking to TOI, Vikas Singh said:
"CBI director being the supervisory officer has to meet everybody... if the accused is on bail, he has every right to go and meet supervisory officer and tell if he feels the trial is not being conducted fairly. Also, these allegations are based on a completely unverified document... If this document has been provided to Mr Bhushan, then what is the sanctity of the document. There is no such file or register available at the residence of the CBI director."
The CBI in conducting an inquiry into how the details of Sinha's visitors was leaked. CBI staffers are responsible for maintaining only two registers — one which records the movements of the CBI chief and the other dealing with the movements of agency personnel.
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