A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court has said that a tussle between the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a case concerning cheating of the Union Bank of India shows that the two agencies are unhappy with each other’s manner of work.
The CBI had filed a second closure report in the 2017 case as it had not found evidence of corruption. In a case registered by the ED on money laundering aspects arising out of the same alleged fraud, the ED had filed a chargesheet. A PMLA court had also taken cognizance of the ED’s chargesheet.
The ED had protested against the closure report of the CBI and alleged that the investigation was not carried out properly by the CBI. Special CBI judge AS Sayyad said that from such tussle it reflects that both agencies disagree and are unhappy with the manner of work of each other. Judge Sayyad added in another part of the order that both the investigating agencies cannot insist each other to do investigation in any particular direction.
The case concerns allegations against high ranked officials of the Union Bank of India who allegedly connived with proprietors of three private firms M/s. Pihu Gold, M/s. Satnam Jewels and M/s Pushpak Bullion to convert Rs. 84 crores of black money into white money after demonetization was announced, thereby causing loss to the bank. The first closure report of the CBI had been rejected in Oct 2020 and the CBI court had ordered the agency to conduct a fair and impartial probe.
Judge Sayyad while accepting this second closure report, stated in the detailed order that the fact that mere one case is pending before PMLA court and the court has taken cognizance of the said case, would not bind the CBI to submit a chargesheet in corruption or fraud cases like the instant one, more particularly when there is no evidence revealed in investigation. The court pointed out that it is settled law that PMLA proceedings are to be conducted in accordance with PMLA Act whereas the CBI works in accordance with provisions in the Prevention of Corruption Act.