CBI files FIR against former director, Ranjit Sinha, to check allegations if he influenced the coal scam probe
New Delhi, April26:The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday filed an FIR against its former director, Ranjit Sinha, to probe the allegations that he influenced the coal scam probe when he was heading the agency. The move came three months after the Supreme Court ordered the CBI to constitute a special investigation team to look into the allegations against Sinha.
It was DNA that first reported on Sinha’s meetings with the accused in the coal block and 2G scams.
The former CBI chief is accused of “scuttling and influencing” the probe into the coal block allocation cases by meeting the accused persons. The CBI has registered case against Ranjit Sinha under sections – 13 (2), which deals with “criminal misconduct” and section 13 (1) (d), pertaining to abusing official position while holding a public office and indulging in corruption, of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act 1988. If convicted, Sinha may face a maximum imprisonment of seven years in the case.
Sinha is the second CBI director to be probed by agency itself after AP Singh, who was booked by the premier investigative agency for corruption charges along with meat exporter Moin Qureshi.
“In view of the orders of the Supreme Court dated 23 January 2017 vide which CBI was instructed to conduct an investigation (as a Special Investigating Team) into the abuse of authority prima facie committed by Ranjit Sinha with a view to scuttle enquiries, investigations and prosecutions,” stated the FIR accessed by DNA.
“During investigations of the coal block allocation cases, certain allegations were levelled about the inappropriate conduct of then CBI director Ranjit Sinha. The Supreme Court which was looking into all the above matters of the coal block allocations had held that it was completely inappropriate for Ranjit Sinha to have met persons accused in the coal block allocation case without the investigating officer being present or without the investigating team being present. Hence it is necessary to look into the question whether any one or more such meetings of Sinha with accused persons without the investigating officer have had any impact on the investigations and subsequent charge sheets or closure reports filed by the CBI,” official said.
Officials further stated that the Supreme Court had desired an inquiry into the matter and subsequently a team headed by M L Sharma, former Special Director, CBI was constituted to probe into the matter vide the order of the Supreme Court dated September 21, 2015.
According to CBI, M L Sharma submitted a detailed report to the Supreme Court. A special investigative team (SIT) headed by the Director rank officer of the CBI was set up to look into the report prepared by ML Sharma and other relevant documents and conduct an investigation (as a Special Investigating Team) into the abuse of authority prima facie committed by Ranjit Sinha with a view to scuttle enquiries, investigations and prosecutions being carried out by the CBI in coal block allocation cases.
The agency had registered three preliminary enquiries (PEs) against unknown public servants, inter alia, of the offences relating to allocation of coal blocks for the period from 1993 to 2005 and 2006 to 2009 and total 54 regular cases have also been registered against public servants and private persons.