A Delhi court has asked the CBI Director and other officials to furnish “written explanations”, and also file an action taken report (ATR) against its officials for not following the prescribed law in conducting searches in which the agency filed case against RAW officials and a private firm for alleged irregularities in supplying high-altitude tents to a unit of the external intelligence agency.
Special CBI Judge Gurvinder Pal Singh said that despite the court’s directions to the CBI officials to follow the law prescribed under provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure while conducting search operations, there was a “flagrant violation” of it.
“The order be delivered in the offices of SP concerned of CBI and DIG concerned of CBI as well as worthy Director of CBI for furnishing written explanations and the ATR against erring officials, in terms of the law laid and procedure established, within 10 days,” the judge said.
The court has issued the directions for violations of salutary provisions contained in sub-section (4) and (8) of Section 100 of the Criminal Procedure Code as well as for not recording appropriate statements of witnesses of the search. The sub-section (4) mandates that before making a search, the investigating officer shall call upon two or more independent inhabitants of the locality in which the place to be searched is located.
The judge observed that the CBI in its supplementary case diary on the searches mentioned that search team made efforts to take witnesses from the locality. However, it did not yield any results, adding that the house in the neighbourhood was locked.
“It is not borne out of material on record or shown in the case diaries as to why stated witnesses of search, not of localities of search were selectively chosen to witness the search. No witness of neighbouring locality was even requested. It is not the case of the investigating agency that the places of search were secluded from any localities,” the court said in its order.
Talking to The Indian Express, CBI officials said that the government witnesses were examined as per procedure. The Indian Express had first reported the case of alleged irregularities in purchases made by an unit of RAW.