Coal scam: Ex-CBI officer agrees to assist CVC probe

Former CBI Special Director M.L. Sharma has given his consent to assist the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in its probe against Ranjit Sinha, who during his tenure as the agency chief, was accused of scuttling probe in the coal block allocation scam, the Supreme Court was informed on Monday.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told a bench headed by Justice M.B. Lokur, monitoring the probe in coal blocks allocation scam, that Mr. Sharma has agreed to undertake the assignment.

However, the former CBI officer has sought time to select the officers to assist him in the inquiry, Rohatgi said.

The bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and A.K. Sikri, took on record the statement of the Attorney General and posted the matter for hearing on August 10.

Mr. Sharma on July 6 had emerged as the first choice of the Supreme Court to assist the CVC after the anti-corruption watchdog had said it did not have its own investigating arm.

The bench on May 14 had admonished Mr. Sinha for his “completely inappropriate” meetings with coal scam accused in the absence of investigating officers (IOs) and had said “further inquiry is necessary” to ascertain the fairness and impact of his conduct on the coal scam probe.

The bench, which is monitoring the probe, had sought the CVC’s assistance to determine the methodology for conducting such an inquiry on whether his meetings with the accused had any impact on the investigations, the subsequent charge sheets or closure reports filed by the CBI.

Mr. Rohatgi had submitted that since the CVC did not have its own investigating arm, the investigators from CBI and ED, who are not associated with coal cases, could be asked to assist the anti-corruption watchdog.

The NGO Common Cause had sought investigation by SIT on the alleged scuttling of the probe into coal block allocation scam by Mr. Sinha.

> Detailed timeline on coal scam

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Printable version | Jul 19, 2021 12:47:29 PM |

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