The Supreme Court on Monday expressed its displeasure over the tardy pace of probe into the coal scam cases. “Progress in the investigations by the CBI and ED in the coal scam cases has been slow,” a special bench headed by Justice M B Lokur said.
The CBI’s special investigation team (SIT), however, informed the apex court that substantial progress has been made in the probe against the agency’s then-chief Ranjit Sinha, who prima facie tried to scuttle the investigation in coal scam cases.
Special prosecutor R S Cheema, who has been appointed by the apex court, apprised the bench, about the progress in the probe into the coal scam cases and subsequent development involving the CBI’s former director. The bench also comprised Justices Kurian Joseph and AK Sikri.
Cheema said the SIT was trying to trace all vehicles of the visitors to Sinha’s house when he was the CBI chief. Also, the bank accounts of all the regular visitors will be examined, he added. The SIT also mentioned that the number of visitors to Singh’s house was also being probed which is purported to be more than what is mentioned in the diary.
The bench listed the matter in the second week of March to see further progress into the investigation after it was informed that SIT will take six more months to complete the probe.
Last year on January 23, the Supreme Court had ordered that a special investigation team be constituted to probe the allegations of “abuse of authority” allegedly committed by ex- CBI chief Sinha to hasten the probe in coal block allocation cases.
The scam was first unearthed after a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) showed that there was an inefficient and possibly illegal allocation of coal blocks between 2004 and 2009. As per the report, the loss incurred by the exchequer was to the tune of Rs 1.86 lakh crore.
(With PTI inputs)