In a setback to West Bengal’s ruling party Trinamool Congress, Supreme Court today declined to monitor the CBI probe into the multi-crore rupee Saradha scam, saying it has not made any accusation that the agency was “negligent” in its probe.
The court, which also rejected state government and TMC’s allegation against the CBI of selectively leaking information to media about the ongoing probe, however provided some respite to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the state Law Minister by refusing to initiate contempt proceedings against them for allegedly obstructing CBI in its investigation.
“We see no reason to entertain these two contempt petitions especially when the CBI has no grievances against them,” a Bench comprising justices T S Thakur and C Nagappan said and added that it was for the agency to allege it and seek action against the leaders.
The bench, which had earlier transferred the cases to CBI, allowed the state police to proceed with prosecution in 193 matters unrelated to Saradha scam in which the state police has filed chargesheets before the competent courts.
The order came when Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar and Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for CBI, said the agency did not want to probe these 193 cases further and, moreover, chargesheets have been filed by the police.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the West Bengal government, today did not press of the relief seeking to restrain media from doing “all kind of stories” credited to CBI sources.
“We will not be able to stop the media from doing their job,” the bench said, adding “these are the matters that cannot be controlled. The CBI is doing the investigation. Media is doing its own job. Let us do our own job.”
The bench asked Sibal whether the state government was accusing CBI of selectively leaking information. “No. As state government, we cannot object,” Sibal said.