‘Let us have a thorough examination by a competent mind’

The Supreme Court on Tuesday suggested appointment of a special public prosecutor to assist the court in scrutinising the closure reports before the CBI filed them in the trial court concerned.

A three-judge Bench of the Chief Justice R.M. Lodha and Justices Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph hearing the case told senior counsel Amarendra Saran, appearing for the CBI, that the agency should not file closure reports on its own after conducting preliminary enquiry.

“Let us have a thorough examination of all materials by a competent mind. There must be some filtration by an independent person whether you [CBI] should straightaway file closure report. Let it be examined by the Central Vigilance Commission,” the CJI told counsel.

Mr. Saran argued that under the law, the CVC could not examine the closure reports of the CBI and it was only for the trial court to decide whether a case was made out or not.

He said that of the 168 cases of preliminary enquiry, finality had been reached in 166 cases. He sought time for completion of the two other cases.

After perusing the report of the two Vigilance Commissioners who went through the preliminary enquiry reports submitted by the CBI, the Bench said the agency could comply with the recommendations to file five cases.

The CJI told counsel for parties that they should give suggestions to arrive at an agreement on the appointment of a suitable special public prosecutor.

No repatriation

On the plea of the investigating officer, V. Murugesan, that he should be relieved from the CBI at the end of the tenure, the Bench made it clear to the agency that none of the senior IPS officers in the team supervising the investigation in the coal case should be repatriated without the court’s approval.

The CJI told Mr. Murugesan who was present in the court, “You have not completed the required task. Now try to complete it. Surely you will not be repatriated until you complete the task.”

The Bench posted the matter for further hearing on July 18.

Of the 168 cases of preliminary inquiry, finality had been reached in 166 cases