SC rejects Sinha's plea to recall its order
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea of former CBI Director Ranjit Sinha seeking recall of its earlier order constituting an SIT to probe the allegations of prima facie scuttling the investigation in coal scam cases.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur said there were no reasons to recall the order of January 23 this year in which the apex court had observed that a prima facie case was "definitely" made out for probing allegations of abuse of authority by Sinha when he was the CBI Director.
"We do not find any reasons to recall our order. The application is dismissed," the bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri, said.
The apex court had on January 23 ordered constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the allegations of "abuse of authority" prima facie committed by Sinha to scuttle the probe in coal block allocation cases. It had said that the present CBI Director would head the SIT which would look into the report of apex court-appointed panel headed by M L Sharma, a former Special Director of the agency, which had prima facie found that Sinha tried to favour some people allegedly responsible for irregularities while in office.
Senior counsel Vikas Singh, appearing for Sinha, sought recall of the order, saying the former CBI chief was not given the opportunity to respond to allegations based on names mentioned in the visitors' diary at his residence which indicated he had met some high-profile accused in the scam.
"This diary cannot be an admissible evidence to order an inquiry by either M L Sharma or an SIT," he said, adding, "the opportunity to respond to the diary was never given to me (Sinha)". To this, the bench said, "The January 23 order was not based on the diary. It was based on M L Sharma's report."
Singh, however, argued that Sinha was not even provided the report of M L Sharma on the basis of which an SIT probe has been ordered by the apex court. He referred to the alleged Sahara-Birla payoff case and the apex court's order in the matter, saying the court had not considered diary entries as cogent material to order a probe.
He argued that in the alleged Sahara-Birla payoff case, the apex court had dismissed the plea seeking investigation in the matter without even issuing notice to anyone whose names had cropped up in the alleged entires.