SC-appointed panel indicts Ranjit Sinha, says ex-CBI boss tried to derail coal scam probe

A Supreme Court-appointed panel on Tuesday took a grim view on the role of former Central Bureau of Investigation director Ranjit Sinha, saying that he did try to influence the probe in the coal scam.

 SC-appointed panel indicts Ranjit Sinha, says ex-CBI boss tried to derail coal scam probe

Former CBI head Ranjit Sinha. PTI

According to ANI, the panel said that "prima facie it seems that ex-CBI Director Ranjit Sinha did try to influence probe in coal scam".

"I have not seen the judgement yet so can't comment," Sinha told the news agency.

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

Even as the apex court-appointed probe panel led by an ex-CBI special director found Sinha's visitor diary genuine, the SC chose to reserve its order to decide on what action to be taken against Sinha in view of the panel's finding.

In September 2014, the CBI received from eminent lawyer Prashant Bhushan the purported entry register of then CBI director 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.

The agency had in the same month denied existence of any such entry register being maintained at the official residence of its director.

The issue of entry register 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 said 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 on 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.

The NGO alleged the "director has made serious attempts to derail the investigation and prosecution being carried out by the CBI."

In October 2014, Sinha threatened to file a perjury case against Bhushan in the wake of an income tax probe finding there was no conversation between him and controversial meat-exporter Moin Qureshi as alleged.

The then CBI chief had also rubbished allegations made by Bhushan that Qureshi was possibly a conduit between the CBI director and the coal-scam accused.

With input from PTI

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Updated Date: Jul 12, 2016 16:10:02 IST