Three months after CBI Director Ranjit Sinha ordered the transfer of four investigating officers in the Bihar fodder scam cases,the agency has had to annul the orders as the Supreme Court stayed the decision.
A Bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi stayed the decision after hearing a petition filed by JD(U) MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh on April 29. This has raised many eyebrows in the agency as Sinha was closely involved in the scams investigation during his tenure as the DIG.
However,the CBI has stated that the four DSPs rank officers Ashesh Kumar,Dasrath Murmoo,B K Singh and A K Jha were transferred after they completed their tenure,and the transfers were done with the permission from the Jharkhand High Court.
The CBI cited 2009 administrative rules according to which for any officer from the rank of sub inspector to Additional SP,the maximum tenure could be six years in one branch and 12 years in one station or zone. When contacted,an agencys spokesperson said: We are awaiting formal
orders from the SC after which appropriate action will be taken. The SC has asked the CBI to reply by July 2.
The agency had approached the HC,which is monitoring the probe,in February,and an order was passed in March allowing the CBI to transfer the officers. Earlier,the HC had asked the CBI not to transfer officers or change counsel without first obtaining its order. In February,the agency submitted an affidavit before the HC stating that the officers will be made available during the trial,if required.
Soon after the SC order,two of the officers,who were transferred to Bangalore and Nagpur respectively,were directed to resume their duties in Ranchi while the transfer of two others was annulled.
JD(U) MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh said: There was no need for the CBI to transfer the officers. The case involving former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad and others is in the final stages and transfer of key officers from Ranchi will mean a delay of few months as new officers will take time to study the case.
The progress in fodder scam cases is very good,barring those against the main conspirators,including Lalu. Some of these officers are policemen who investigated the case since the beginning, he said. Sources said Sinha might have to do some explaining before the SC since all transfers in the rank of DSPs are done with approval of the CBI Director.