The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered repatriation of senior IPS officer Ravikant to CBI to head the team probing the coalgate scam.
"For a larger public cause if he has to continue in the investigating team, he must keep his personal difficulty aside," said a three-judge bench headed by Justice RM Lodha on CBI counsel UU Lalit's claim that Ravikant was transferred on his own volition to the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
A 1998 batch Odisha cadre officer, Ravikant left CBI on March 24, this year. According to CBI the IPS officer had himself sought the transfer and first applied for tenure in the IB in May last year.
The bench expressed its unhappiness over the way Ravikant was moved out of the agency without the court's approval.
"Why wasn't the court informed?" the bench asked Lalit. It added: "This raises suspicion. It may be unfounded but it does create a doubt in our mind and we do not want this."
Lalit informed the court that despite Ravikant's desire to leave CBI for IB, the agency had extended his tenure for six months because he was heading the coalgate probe. His tenure in the CBI ended in September last.
The court also restrained the CBI chief from making any changes in the 33-member team without its permission. CBI said Ravikant had first applied for a tenure in the IB in May 2012 and first FIR in the coal scam was registered four months later.