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Govt must move against Sinha: Bhushan

Lawyer demands CBI Director be removed from all cases.

Written by Appu Esthose Suresh | New Delhi |
November 21, 2014 4:04:26 am
Prashant Bhushan Prashant Bhushan

Lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan, who produced before the Supreme Court the visitors’ logbook from CBI chief Ranjit Sinha’s residence, on Thursday said Sinha “should be removed from all cases, and the government should initiate disciplinary proceeding against him”.

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed Sinha “not to interfere” in the 2G probe, and observed that allegations that he met the accused in the scam during the period of the investigation “seemed prima facie credible”.

“The government should have immediately moved him from the post after substantial proof was produced against him,” Bhushan told The Indian Express. When pointed out that the Supreme Court too had not initiated disciplinary proceedings against Sinha, Bhushan said, “Court took a month, but that happens. But they have finally come out with a very good order. And also, the court also asked Sinha to recuse from the 2G probe at a very early stage itself.”

Bhushan had told the Supreme Court during a hearing on the 2G case on August 12 that Sinha was interfering in the probe to allegedly help the accused, and had removed Santosh Rastogi, the DIG supervising the probe. The court had directed the CBI to reinstate Rastogi, and asked Bhushan to file an affidavit.

On September 2, Bhushan produced a logbook maintained at the gate of Sinha’s official residence, and alleged that he had met various accused many times during the 15-month period from May 2013 to August 2014.

Sinha, who contested the authenticity of the logbook, challenged Bhushan to reveal the his “source”. The apex court too asked Bhushan to reveal the identity of the source.

On Wednesday, Sinha named Rastogi as the individual allegedly leaking information to Bhushan.

“Sinha’s allegation is totally false. I have given an affidavit to the court saying he is not the source. It is absurd to name the whistleblower. How does it matter who is the whistleblower? Even if it’s a CBI officer, it’s a moral duty to expose corruption and nepotism,” Bhushan said.

He added, “It was very inappropriate of CBI to have named Rastogi as a mole. I am glad that the Supreme Court has set the record straight, and withdrawn the suggestion to reveal the source.”

Bhushan, who has got relief in this case, still faces charges of perjury filed by Sinha. “It is pure diversion tactics by Sinha. He filed a perjury case in the 2G matter too, in which the court appointed a special public prosecutor and has found that I was entirely correct and more. He has filed a perjury case on my submission that (meat exporter Moin) Qureshi and Sinha have links, which too can be substantiated by a further probe,” Bhushan said.

THE RANJIT SINHA FILE

The Indian Express has published a series of reports revealing the contents of the visitors’ logbooks at the CBI Director’s residence. The logbooks are key to the allegation — which the Supreme Court on Thursday said “seemed prima facie credible” — that Sinha was freely accessible to individuals being examined by the CBI in several cases, including the 2G and coal blocks allotment scams.

SEPTEMBER 4
Revealed for the first time detailed contents of the visitors’ logbooks from May 2013 to August 2014 at Sinha’s home, which appeared to show that individuals under probe in several cases, including the coal and 2G scams, visited him frequently and repeatedly. Among the visitors were HFCL promoter Mahendra Nahata, who was among the alleged beneficiaries of the 2G scam, senior ADAG officials Tony Jesudasan and A N Sethuraman, and Congress MP Vijay Darda and his son Devendra, named as accused in the CBI’s coal blocks chargesheet.

SEPTEMBER 5
Reported the CBI chief’s odd guest list: one ‘Mithilesh’ who visited him 225 times, a ‘Shiv Babu’ who came 175 times, and several others, including corporates such as Sunil Bajaj of Essar Group, which is under CBI probe for its alleged role in the 2G scam. The report also revealed that several visitors seemed to have enjoyed the privilege of entering without their arrivals being logged.

SEPTEMBER 6
Analysed logbooks to show that the frequency of visits by certain individuals appeared to increase just as the cases against them or their associates picked up pace. The visit of some individuals to the CBI chief’s home raise questions of conflict of interest.

SEPTEMBER 24
Revealed that the logbooks appear to suggest a link between Sinha’s curious U-turn on prosecuting the Dardas in the coal case and visits by Devendra Darda to his residence.

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