SC rejects Ranjit Sinha's objection on handing over visitors' diary
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the plea of Ranjit Sinha not to allow the court-appointed panel access to the alleged original visitors' diary of his official residence during his tenure as CBI Director.
A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri stood by its September 30 order through which the plea of former CBI Special Director M L Sharma, seeking original visitors' diary of Sinha's official residence, was sent to the bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu.
The bench, headed by the CJI, which hears 2G scam cases, had then ordered sealing of the visitors' diary. Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the former CBI Director, said "the diary, all along, has been denied and it should not be given to the inquiry committee."
He said the court-appointed inquiry panel led by Sharma should "look into" all registered cases (RCs) and find out whether Sinha had favoured anybody with whom he had the alleged meetings.
"This amounts to wild goose chase," he said, adding that the ultimate purpose was to see whether the then CBI chief had favoured anybody or not. "I am open to all kind of scrutiny of RCs".
He also alleged that the entries in the diary cannot be assumed to be correct and Sinha be allowed to dispute entries as some of them relate to the days when he was not even present in Delhi.
The bench rejected the plea and said the issue of handing over of the diary to the court-appointed would be dealt by the bench headed the CJI on Friday.
During the hearing, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said the M L Sharma panel, appointed to probe the allegations whether the then CBI Director had met some accused and favoured some, is demanding documents relating to Preliminary Enquiries recorded by the CBI and subsequent views of the CVC.
"Now the question is whether the inquiry panel will re-open all the coal scam cases. The question is what is the real width of its power and what do we do," he said.
The bench said it will look into this aspect on October 26.
Earlier, the bench-headed by the CJI had left it open for Ranjit Sinha to raise objection before the special coal bench to the demand for a copy of original visitors' diary of his official residence.
The diary allegedly contains names of persons, including those facing court cases in the 2G and coalgate scams who had visited Sinha's official residence during his tenure as the CBI Director.
The apex court had on September 14, entrusted M L Sharma with the power to summon any person in his inquiry against Sinha, accused of scuttling probe in the coal block scam as the agency's chief.
It had also ordered that Sharma will have access to all documents required by him for his probe and asked him to submit the report of inquiry in three months.
Sharma, who had emerged as the first choice of the apex court, had given his consent to assist the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in its probe against Sinha.
The court had on September 7 said the scope of inquiry was limited to recording the statements of persons accused in the coal allocation scam to draw an inference whether the probe into the cases were in any way influenced or interfered with, as suggested by the CVC.