Bhushan's allegations against Sinha appear to have some credibility: SC

Ticking off the CBI, the Supreme Court today observed that apparently "all is not well" and seemingly the allegations made by the NGO against CBI Director Ranjit Sinha has "some credibility".

"For us, it appears that all is not well and prima facie it seemss that allegations made in the application by NGO has some credibility," the apex court said while hearing the case related to allegations by the NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, that Sinha might have tried to save some accused in 2G spectrum scam.

The Supreme Court also pulled up CBI chief Ranjit Sinha for naming a senior IPS officer Santosh Rastogi as a mole saying it was wrong on his part to have named him adding that the court would take note of the issue and not allow the career of the official to be tarnished.

Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who filed the petition in the SC said he had never met Santosh Rastogi and did not get any document from him.

 Bhushans allegations against Sinha appear to have some credibility: SC

The Supreme Court of India.

"If there is any evidence against the officer suspected by CBI director it must be produced before the court," Advocate KK Venogopal told SC.

Earlier in the day, Special Public Prosecutor Anand Grover told the Supreme Court that CBI director Ranjit Sinha interfered in 2G case which is "completely inconsistent with the agency's stand," adding "our case in 2G could have been demolished, if Sinha's stand was accepted.".

The apex court took strong exception to CBI officers present in the court room, directing them to leave and "do their duty" in office.

The court also pulled up joint director Ashok Tiwari after he put forward his view on allegations against Sinha.

"You are not agents of the CBI director. You can't be his mouth piece."

On Wednesday, agency chief Ranjit Sinha claimed in the Supreme Court that senior IPS officer Santosh Rastogi was the 'mole' who supplied documents and file notings to advocate Prashant Bhushan on the basis of which "false and baseless" allegations were made.

The four-and-half hour proceedings witnessed high-voltage drama and heated exchange of words with counsel appearing for Sinha and Bhushan losing their temper often and the bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu had to intervene.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the Director, submitted that the allegations levelled are baseless and false and placed confidential files of 2G probe to substantiate his arguments that Ranjit Sinha had not tried to save any accused in the case.

He said the file notings and documents, on the basis of which NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation filed the petition seeking probe against the Director, was supplied by DIG-rank officer Rastogi.

"It is very clear that Rastogi is supplying all the information. He is the mole in CBI," Singh submitted.

Vikas Singh, however, did not give explanation Sinha's frequent meetings with the various accused when senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for Bhushan and the NGO, said that the Director himself had admitted the meetings in his interviews with media.

The NGO had expressed its inability to reveal the whistle blower to the court saying that "The trust (of whistle blower) is sacrosanct and if it is broken, then nobody would come forward to give information".

The Director, on the other hand, pleaded with the court that the petition should not be entertained till the name of the whistle blower is disclosed to the court.

In the beginning of hearing, Dave said that there should be an independent inquiry on the allegation against the Director and questioned why Ranjit Sinhs is shying away from probe.

He said that Bhushan and the NGO were ready to be prosecuted if the information given by them regarding CBI director Ranjit Sinha's alleged misconduct proved to be wrong.

"We are not hiding away. You are hiding away. We are putting our future in the hands of judges," he said adding "We are not saying that that what we are saying is a gospel truth. We are just pleading that the allegations be probed independently".

Referring to the allegation, he said it amounts to obstruction of justice and betraying the trust reposed by this court in Director.

"He is functioning as if Director is the CBI and the CBI is the Director. Time has come to send a strong message that court cannot be taken for granted," Dave said.

He said that powerful people are behind it and there cannot be any justification for such meeting.

"Why was he hobnobbing with the accused. we are looking like a banana republic because of people like him. Our constitutional values are being cheated away slowly and steadily," he said.

The arguments remained inconclusive and would resume tomorrow when the Special Public Prosecutor Anand Grover would make his stand on the allegation.

Earlier, the apex court had asked Grover to assist the court in the case filed against Sinha and sought his stand on the issue.

Grover in his 15-page note said Sinha's frequent meetings with several accused and their representatives in 2G case is "definitely improper" and whether his conduct amounts to criminal contempt needs to be examined.

He had also urged the court to recall its order on knowing the name of the whistle blower who had leaked the documents including CBI Director's guest list register to Bhushan, saying it should not insist on the issue.

Grover had said people have a right to know the top cop's conduct as it does not pertain to his personal affairs and no law protects the confidentiality of information in the guest list register which should be examined by the apex court.

In his note, Grover had said, "While the repeated meetings of the CBI Director and the representatives of the accused in 2G cases, during the investigation and prosecution of the cases, is definitely improper, it will have to be examined whether such acts amount to criminal contempt of court under the Contempt of Courts Act 1971 and they could prejudice, interfere or tend to interfere with the due course of judicial proceedings."

He had further submitted that miscarriage of justice may result if Bhushan is compelled to disclose the identity of the whistle blower and asked the court to recall its September 15 order in which it had asked for the whistle blower's name.

PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 20, 2014 15:38:17 IST