A few years ago, over 100 kg of gold went missing from CBI custody. Seized in connection with a 2012 case from Surana Corporation, the investigative agency is yet to recover the missing gold worth around Rs 43 crore.
Now in most cases, missing valuables would be cause for an official agency to investigate. But this poses something of a problem when the victim in question is the country's top investigative agency. As such, the CBI had contended that an investigation by local officials would lower it's "prestige". This contention however appears to have failed to move the Madras High Court, which on Friday turned down the CBI petition and ordered the Tamil Nadu police to launch a probe.
“The CBI would have cried foul from the rooftops and demanded the scalp of the Special Judge and his property clerk. The Special Judge and the property clerk would have been placed under suspension and would have even been arrested,” a News18 report quoted the judge as saying.
Incidentally, the missing gold, in the form of bars and ornaments had been seized by the CBI from the office building of Surana in Chennai. It was subsequently locked and sealed in the firm's vaults. And while the CBI claims to have submitted the keys of the vault to a Special CBI Court in Chennai, the valuable metal has since proven to be stubbornly elusive.
And while the court appeared to understand the CBI's consternation, calling it an "agni pariksha", they said that the situation "cannot be helped". taking inspiration from the tale outlined in the Ramayana, Justice P N Prakash drew a parallel with Sita.
"If their hands are clean, like Sita, they may come out brighter. If not, they would have to face the music," he opined.