New Delhi : In a setback to CBI Director Ranjit Sinha, the Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider a plea for hearing allegations levelled against him without knowing the name of the whistleblower in a case relating to controversial entries in the visitors’ diary at his residence.
A bench headed by Justice H L Dattu sought the assistance of the Special Public Prosecutor (SPP), appointed by it for trial in 2G cases, saying that any order passed by it may have ramifications on multi-crore scam cases.
The bench agreed to hear the plea of NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation which pleaded for recall of its earlier order asking it to reveal the name of the whistleblower in a sealed envelope.
It turned down the plea of the CBI Director’s counsel Vikas Singh that the apex court should not hear the case any further in view of the NGO refusing to disclose the name of ‘mole’ who leaked the documents, including CBI file notings and the register.
“No, no. We are sorry Mr. Vikas,” the bench said when the CBI counsel pleaded that no order should be passed and he should be heard before passing any direction. Submitting that there has been no interference on his part in any of the cases probed by CBI, Sinha pleaded that continuance of this case even for a single day would cause more public harm and would affect 2G cases.
The bench, however, said, “We don’t believe so.” Singh also contended that the NGO must reveal the name of the ‘mole’ while submitting that the kind of affidavit filed by the NGO (on allegations against Sinha) should not be permitted as otherwise anyone would be allowed to get away even after making baseless allegations in the apex court.
The court directed that all documents, including CBI files and the visitors’ list register pertaining to the allegations against the top cop, be handed over to SPP Anand Grover, who will go through all the information and assist the court on the next date of hearing on October 10.
At the beginning of the proceedings, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the NGO, and Prashant Bhushan tendered an unconditional apology before the apex court for its ‘inability’ to reveal the name of the whistleblower and pleaded for recall of its earlier order on disclosing the name.
Dave further submitted that it is not an attempt at character assassination of the CBI director but the apex court must look into the allegations levelled against him which need to be probed.
On Saturday, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Ranjit Sinha’s lawyer Vikas Singh had said that they had filed an application seeking action against Bhushan for having lied in court about the source of the register during a September 8 hearing.
Bhushan, who is a lawyer representing the non-profit Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) had earlier filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against Sinha, seeking his removal for allegedly compromising 2G and coal block case investigations.
Bhushan had presented to the court a visitor’s logbook from Sinha’s 2 Akbar Road residence as evidence to claim that the latter used to meet people linked to the 2G and coal block scams.