CBI books ex-chief Ranjit Sinha in corruption case

April 25, 2017 08:43 pm | Updated July 08, 2017 04:46 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Former CBI Director Ranjit Sinha.

Former CBI Director Ranjit Sinha.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a corruption case against its former Director Ranjit Sinha on allegations of abusing his authority to scuttle enquiries, investigations and prosecutions in the coal block allocation cases. He happens to be the second CBI chief to have been booked by the agency in 2017.

The case was registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act on Monday pursuant to the Supreme Court directive to probe the charges.

According to the FIR, during the course of investigations in the coal block allocation cases, certain allegations were made about the “inappropriate conduct” of Mr. Sinha, the then CBI Director. The agency had instituted three preliminary enquiries pertaining to the allocations between 1993-2005 and 2006-2009 and 54 cases were registered against private persons and public servants.

Following reports that Mr. Sinha had met several suspects in the cases at his residence, the Supreme Court – which already had been monitoring the cases – took cognisance of the allegations. The Court held that it was completely inappropriate on the part of Mr. Sinha to have met persons accused in the coal block allocation cases without the investigating officer or the team being present.

The Supreme Court in its order dated May 14, 2015, said it was necessary to look into the question whether any one or more such meetings of Mr. Sinha with the accused persons without the investigating officer have had any impact on the investigations and subsequent charge sheets or closure reports filed by the CBI.

Subsequently, in September 2015, a team led by former CBI Special Director M.L. Sharma was constituted to conduct a preliminary enquiry. He submitted a detailed report to the Supreme Court on January 23, 2017. The apex court then set up a Special Investigation Team led by the CBI Director to study the report and probe into the relevant documents to ascertain whether Mr. Sinha abused his authority prima facie to scuttle enquiries, investigations and prosecutions.

The Supreme Court on March 24, 2017 ordered that a certified copy of the report of the Enquiry Committee be handed over by the Registry to the CBI Director. Based on the preliminary findings, the agency has now registered the case against its own former chief.

In February 2017, the CBI had registered a corruption case against its former Director, A.P. Singh and his childhood friend Moin Qureshi, a meat exporter accused of accepting money from his contacts to seek favours from government servants holding key positions.

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