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Updated: May 7, 2013 12:58 IST

It did not occur to us to inform court of changes: CBI chief

  • Legal Correspondent
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CBI Director Ranjit Sinha
The Hindu
CBI Director Ranjit Sinha

The CBI Director claimed in the Supreme Court on Monday that it did not occur to the agency to bring it to the notice of the court that the draft status report had been shared with the Law Minister and officials in the PMO and Coal Ministry as there was no specific direction to this effect.

In his affidavit, the Director said: “It was our honest and bona fide belief that there was no specific direction on this issue by the court.” It claimed that the Attorney General saw PE 2 and PE4 (preliminary enquiries dealing with coal allocations between 1993 and 2005). Coal and PMO officials also went through them and suggested some amendments. The affidavit, however, backed the Attorney General saying “the AG neither asked for nor was given a copy of the final status reports” but admitted he made “minor changes” in status report of PE2.

The CBI Director admitted that the issue of status report was first discussed with the Law Minister in the first week of February, when a meeting was held in the Minister’s chamber. It clarified that this meeting was not called at the request of the CBI.

During the March 6 meeting with the Law Minister, the AG was also present. The AG glanced through the portions of the status reports of PE2 and PE4 and he made certain observations which were explained to him.

On the court’s query whether or not the CBI Manual empowered the CBI to share the status reports with the Law Minister, the CBI Director said: “There is nothing in the CBI (Crime) Manual to guide whether status reports in respect of on-going investigation in a sub judice matter were to be shared with others. The departmental circulars and government instructions are also silent on this point. In our institutional memory too, no such general guidelines could be located,” it said.

On the court’s query whether the status reports were shown to any one other than those mentioned in the affidavit, such as the Law Minister and the officials in the PMO and the Coal Ministry, the affidavit said that the draft report was not shown to others. “Sharing of status reports (with Law Minister and officials in PMO and Coal Ministry) and the consequent changes therein have neither altered the central theme of the report nor shifted the focus of enquiries or investigations in any manner. No names of suspect or accused were removed from the status reports and also that no suspect or accused were let off in the process.”

While sharing the details of the officers investigating the case (in a sealed cover), the CBI Director extended unconditional apology for any inadvertent omission or commission on his part and assured the court that enquiries and investigations were being conducted independently by a team of officers with utmost sincerity and professionalism and would continue with the same zeal and purpose.

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You are supposed to be top law enforcement and investigation officer in India and your words are not worth a pinch of salt.

from:  Honga Singh
Posted on: May 7, 2013 at 13:14 IST

The CBI Crime Manual may be silent on whether or not the investigation or status
report to be shared or not with minister/government during on-going judicial
proceedings. Does that mean CBI could share and show such documents to a
Minister even if he is a suspect or potential accused in the case, just because he may desire to see them ? Where is the need for CBI to show such documents even to a minister unless he has the guts to demand in writing what CBI is doing ?

from:  KS Raghunathan
Posted on: May 7, 2013 at 12:55 IST

How stupid does CBI think people are?

from:  Gaurav
Posted on: May 7, 2013 at 12:43 IST

SC should ask - How such naive person was appointed as CBI chief? There must be enquiry into as well.

from:  Avinash
Posted on: May 7, 2013 at 12:31 IST

The CBI manual also does not say that status reports can be shared with
the government. Since it was not provided for in the manual it would
have been obligatory on the CBI chief to seeks courts permission to
share the reports.

from:  raghavan
Posted on: May 7, 2013 at 12:29 IST

I don't know how this guy got qualified to be a director of CBI. May be
he got through reservations or something else...

from:  Raj
Posted on: May 7, 2013 at 11:57 IST

Drama. This is part to let India know that CBI is independent, to misled SC and Nation. Whereas fact is that CBI Director said that CBI IS PART OF GOVERNMENT AND IT IS HIS DHARMA TO MAKE ALL FILES AVAILABLE TO GOVERNMENT.

from:  Devendra Shishodiya
Posted on: May 7, 2013 at 11:53 IST

wow! so CBI should share all their reports with all convicts before filing , why just the politicians ? How can someone buy this? That's why they don't want CBI to be independent body.

from:  Gaurav
Posted on: May 7, 2013 at 11:51 IST

It is common knowledge that Court being the altar of justice has to
be given top precedence over anything else. It is surprising that
a top organisation is putting the plea of non-awareness of this
point. The maxim is that ignorance of law is not an excuse to seek
relief. "Ignoratia juris non-excusat"

from:  B Ramaswamy
Posted on: May 7, 2013 at 11:46 IST

In the investigation of "Jain Hawala" case, Justice Verma's order clearly forbade the CBI to share any details of the investigation with the government "to eliminate any impression of bias and avoid erosion of credibility". The 1996 order directed that "the CBI would not take any instructions from, report to, or furnish any particulars thereof to any authority personally interested in or likely to be affected by the outcome of the investigation."

How did the CBI / Law Minister / PMO forget this?

from:  Srinivas
Posted on: May 7, 2013 at 11:38 IST

we did not expect much from CBI on this. We know that this would be the
output...what a pity and shame!

from:  Manoj
Posted on: May 7, 2013 at 11:18 IST
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