Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) submitted before the Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday that it wants to withdraw its review petition filed against the orders of the high court in which it had handed over the enquiry into the multi-crore Sports Authority of India (SAI) scam to the CBI.
Appearing for the CBI, advocate Sumeet Goel informed the bench headed by justice Ranjit Singh that as the CBI had already registered a preliminary enquiry into the case and had started search and seizure operations, it would like to withdraw its review petition.
Assertions came during the resumed hearing of a petition filed by a SAI employee Raj Kumar alleging large-scale corruption in various branches of SAI across India and possession of disproportionate assests by its officers to their known sources of income. The petitioner had alleged that SAI officers kept paying crores of rupees to the two New Delhi companies black listed by the CVC. He has also allged that a large number of sub standard sports equipments/kits were purchased by various SAI centers at exorbitant high rates.
Recently, on November 15 CBI had started with search and seizure operations at SAI’s Sonepat centre.
Justice Ranjit Singh had handed over the investigation of the matter to CBI on March 15. However, the CBI and the centre government chose to file the review petition against these orders stating that an enquiry into the case was already under investigation by the Chief Vigilance Commission(CVC) and if any criminality as alleged is found then they will proceed as per law. It was also submitted that when an agency was already investigating the allegation then there was no need to hand over the enquiry to the CBI.
Interestingly, the review petition filed by the union government had an attached affidavit of one of the accused SAI officers of New Delhi branch in the case stating that the enquiry is being conducted.
But later when the petitioner sought information under RTI Act, the CVC office informed that no such inquiry had been undertaken or was pending before it. However, Justice Ranjit Singh had made it clear that SAI should not fear of an investigation being carried out by the CBI since the allegations made by the petitioner were of serious nature.
Since, during the hearing of the case on Wednesday centre government’s counsel was not available in the court, the bench adjourned the case for November 29 for further arguments and to know about the union government’s stand.