Ranjit Sinha must be investigated for abuse of power

New Delhi: In a major setback to former CBI Chief Ranjit Sinha, the Supreme Court on Thursday said that a probe against him is needed for allegedly protecting accused in coal scam.

The apex court said it was “completely inappropriate” on Sinha’s part to meet the accused without the presence of investigative officers in the cases concerned.

A bench comprising justices M B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri further directed the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to assist in the probe against the former CBI chief.

The court was hearing a petition filed by activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan’s NGO Common Cause alleging that Sinha was meeting high-profile accused in both cases.

It said that the matter required a probe so as to ascertain whether Sinha’s meetings had an impact on merits of the chargesheet filed in the scam cases.

The bench also sought assistance of the CVC to decide how the probe should be done against the former CBI chief.

The court asked the CVC to file response by July 6.

In November last year, an FIR was filed against Sinha for alleged criminal misconduct and abuse of office.

The FIR referred to Sinha’s role in various scams – mainly Coalgate and 2G spectrum allocation – being probed by the CBI.

There are allegations that two top Reliance ADAG officials visited the CBI director’s residence nearly 50 times in about a year.

It has also been charged that the visits coincided with Sinha’s alleged attempt to file an affidavit which sought to water down the charges against the company in the 2G scam.

The Supreme Court had in November last year asked him to recues himself from the ongoing probe into the 2G scam.

Sinha, however, has consistently rejected all allegations of wrongdoing.

Sinha retired from the CBI in December, shortly after the Supreme Court removed him from the investigation into the 2G spectrum case.

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