Coal scam: Supreme Court adopting ‘double standards’, alleges ex-CBI chief Ranjit Sinha
Days after the Supreme Court ordered an SIT probe against former CBI director Ranjit Sinha for allegedly trying to influence the probe in the coal scam cases, he said that the apex court is adopting “double standards” in judging entries in two sets of controversial diaries.
According to a Times of India report, in an application seeking recall of the Supreme Court’s January 23 order directing CBI probe into alleged meetings between him and those accused in the coal scam on the basis of entries in the visitors’ diary at his official residence, Sinha said that the evidentiary value of the diary entries was far worse than the entries in dairies found on executives of Birla and Sahara groups revealing alleged payment of “bribes” to politicians.
Sinha’s application drew attention to the Supreme Court’s January 11 judgement in which it rejected to take cognisance of diary entries of corporate executives, asserting that “the court has to be on guard while ordering investigation against any important constitutional functionary, officers or any person in the absence of some cogent legally cognisable material”.
Referring to the unverified visitors’ diary entries which formed the basis of the SC order directing inquiry into his alleged meetings with accused without the presence of investigating officers, Sinha said that if the same principle was applied to the corporate diary entries in the cases of Sahara and Birla groups, then registration of FIRs against politicians became imperative.
“In case cognisance on the basis of the contents of executives' diaries is to be taken, admittedly it would result in registration of clear cut cases under Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act,” Sinha’s petition was quoted by Times of India as saying.
The petition added that unlike the corporate diaries, the purported visitors’ diary in case relating to Sinha contained only such entries of meetings and “no criminal case could be made out per se”.
Sinha was indicted by apex court-appointed panel which had opined that he had influenced and tried to scuttle the probe into coal scam cases.
The apex court had on July 12 last year reserved its order on the issue after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the bench that the panel headed by former CBI special director M L Sharma has held that Sinha's meetings with some high-profile accused in the scam, prima facie indicated that there was an attempt to influence the investigation.
Rohtagi, who had only received an initial report of the panel for perusal on condition of confidentiality, had said he had gone through the report which has found that the visitors' diary at Sinha's residence was genuine.
However, he had said the correctness of entries in that diary can only be ascertained in the court through evidence.