New Delhi : CBI will soon move an appeal against the order of a Special Judge wherein he rejected the closure report filed by the agency against a company in coal scam case and made some adverse remarks against the agency officials probing the case.
According to CBI sources, the comments made by the Judge created resentment in the ‘rank and file’ of the agency and are demoralising for the officers who have worked hard throughout their lives deciphering very complex cases. Sources said the judge could have just rejected the closure report, but there was no reason to make comments on the investigating skills of the officers concerned as many other cases probed by them have ended in the conviction as well.
They claimed there are number of Supreme Court and High Court orders wherein it is advised to fellow judges to refrain from making disparaging comments against the officers and authorities unless extremely necessary.
CBI may rely on a Supreme Court order by Justice (retd) K G Balakrishnan and Justice (retd) P Satahasivam on April 16, 2009, saying, “It is settled law that harsh or disparaging remarks are not to be made against persons and authorities whose conduct into consideration before the Courts of law unless it is really for the decision of the case as an integral part thereof.”
Meanwhile, special Public Prosecutor Anand Grover on Thursday told the Supreme Court that CBI Director Ranjit Sinha’s frequent meetings with several accused and their representatives in 2G case is definitely improper and demanded that it needs to be examined for any criminal contempt.
Grover also urged the court to recall its order on knowing the name of the whistleblower who had leaked the documents including his guest list register to advocate Prashant Bhushan, saying it should not insist on the issue.
He said people have a right to know the top cop’s conduct as it does not pertain to his personal affairs and no law protects the confidentiality of information in the guestlist register which should be examined by the apex court.
In his 15-page note, Grover said, “While the repeated meetings of the CBI Director and the representatives of the accused in 2G cases, during the investigation and prosecution of the cases, is definitely improper, it will have to be examined whether such acts amount to criminal contempt of court under the Contempt of Courts Act 1971 and they could prejudice, interfere or tend to interfere with the due course of judicial proceedings.”
He said since the information is not related to the personal affairs of the Director, the citizens have a right to information regarding his conduct in his official capacity and he cannot claim violation of any constitutional right. Given that the CBI Director had his camp office located at his residence, the information contained in the Register does not pertain to his personal affairs and rather appears to be a record of his professional meetings conducted in his official capacity.
“Further, the Official Secrets Act or any other statutory law does not protect the confidentiality of the information in the Register,” the senior advocate, who was appointed SPP by the apex court, said. He further submitted that miscarrage of justice may result if Bhushan is compelled to disclose the identity of the whistleblower and asked the court recall its September 15 order in which it had asked the name of whistleblower.