Former CBI Director Ranjit Sinha has been indicted by a Supreme Court-appointed panel which has held that prima facie there was an attempt to influence investigation into the coal block allocation scam.
The court also pulled up CBI for its sluggish probe in the coal scam that had taken place during the UPA government’s tenure and directed the agency to complete the investigation expeditiously.
The apex court, which is monitoring the probe into Coalgate, was Tuesday told by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that the panel headed by former CBI special director M L Sharma has held that Sinha’a meetings with some of the high- profile accused in the scam prima facie indicated that there was an attempt to influence the investigation.
Rohtagi, who only had received an initial report of the panel for perusal on condition of maintaining its confidentiality, said that he had gone through the report which has found that the visitors’ diary at Sinha’s residence was genuine.
However, he said that the correctness of entries in the visitors’ diary can only be ascertained in the court of law through evidence.
“Unless there is evidence in court of law which says that the visitor’s register is genuine, we may not be able to proceed in the matter,” he said.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for Sinha, refuted the allegation saying the entries in the register or the diary were dubious or fictitious as the former CBI director was not in the national capital on many of those days.
“There is not a single case where I (Sinha) have taken a decision contrary to the investigating officers in closing coal cases,” Singh said.
Taking note of the submissions, a bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri reserved its order for passing directions.
Rapping the agency for slow progress, the court said, “We have been telling you (CBI) time and again to complete the investigation. Every time you say we will do it within one month. Last time you had said that you will do it by June 30. But still you have not done it. Please do it expeditiously,” the bench said.
During the hearing, advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for NGO ‘Common Cause’, said that as per the panel Ranjit Sinha’s visitors diary has been found to be genuine and it is clear that he met many coal scam accused which influenced his decisions.