A scrutiny of 310 pages of visitors’ logbooks at the New Delhi residence of CBI director Ranjit Sinha shows that on several days in 2013 and 2014, Sinha met with a number of people named in cases that were being investigated — or which had been investigated — by the agency.
These meetings, entries in the registers at the gate of Sinha’s 2 Janpath residence show, took place at all times from the early morning to late in the night. The Indian Express has scrutinised logbooks for 15 months from May 2013 to August 2014.
While the Supreme Court has now been informed of the “meetings” with officials of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) — whose officials are under investigation in connection with the 2G spectrum allotment scam — and will hear the matter on Thursday, several other controversial persons appear to have been frequent visitors to the residence of the CBI head.
Among those whose visits have been logged are Congress MP Vijay Darda and his son Devendra Darda, who were named as accused in the CBI’s March 2014 chargesheet in the coal blocks allocation scam.
While Devendra Darda made five visits in the period under scrutiny, the largest number of recorded visits — 71 — were by Mahendra Nahata, the promoter of Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd (HFCL), who was among the alleged beneficiaries of the 2G scam.
Reached for a comment, Nahata told The Indian Express, “I am a family friend of Mr Sinha’s and have known him for two decades. I have met him a few times as a friend, but I don’t know where this 71 figure is coming from. As a friend, I will continue to meet him.”
Deepak Talwar, a consultant whose name figured in the Niira Radia tapes, visited Sinha’s house on 54 occasions. The CBI had registered a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) against Talwar, but had closed it subsequently.
Meat exporter Moin Qureshi — whose connections with Sinha’s predecessor at the CBI A P Singh created a controversy (reported first by The Indian Express over May and June) — visited Sinha at the Janpath house 70 times in 2013 and 2014, with the last recorded visit coming on August 12. There were days when Qureshi visited Sinha’s residence twice, and ones when he was accompanied by his wife.
Darda, Talwar and Qureshi were not available for a comment.
Several logbook entries read “Qureshiji” and “Nahataji”, suggesting that the policemen at the gate were familiar with these frequent visitors.
Interestingly, among the visitors to what Sinha has described as a busy continued…