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SCOI Report: Ex-CBI director Ranjit Sinha visitors diary case takes an interesting turn

The Supreme Court yesterday asked the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in what way it could assist the court in probing allegations that the meetings then-CBI director Ranjit Sinha had with several coal block allocation scam accused impacted utcome of the cases.

The case came up for hearing before the three-judge Supreme Court bench of justices Madan B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and AK Sikri, when attorney general Mukul Rohatgi expressed his doubts whether the inquiry proposed by the bench during the last hearing would serve any purpose at all.

“It will be like a public inquiry, like a commission of enquiry, with all the visitors being probed by the court-appointed committee,” he suggested. He then sought the bench’s permission to get back to the Central Vigilance Commissioner, to ask whether he could conduct the inquiry himself into the affair.

Prashant Bhushan, counsel for Common Cause objected to this, saying that the CVC was himself a visitor, and therefore, suffered from conflict of interest. He said he had suggested retired judge, Santosh Hegde, or retired police officer, Prakash Singh, who have experience in criminal investigations, to be entrusted with this inquiry.

Instead, the name of ML Sharma, former Special Director, CBI was chosen, to head the team to enquire into the affairs.

Prashant Bhushan opined that the number of support staff requested by Sharma was reasonable.

The AG disagreed with Bhushan’s criticism of the CVC

Ranjit Sinha’s lawyer Vikas Singh asked the bench to read the CVC Act, to which Justice Lokur said that the bench needed the assistance of the CVC on what to do next, and that Vikas Singh’s reference to the CVC Act in this context did not make sense to it.

The bench then agreed to the AG’s request to get back to the bench so he could discuss the matter with the CVC

The matter was adjourned to 7 September.

By: SCOI Reports

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