The Supreme Court will Thursday be handed over a list of names of businessmen who are facing CBI probe and allegedly met the investigating agency’s director Ranjit Sinha frequently at his Delhi home in what is being seen as a conflict of interest.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing the Centre for Public Interest Litigation on whose petition the SC had ordered a CBI probe into the 2G spectrum scandal, Tuesday told the top court that the guest register at Sinha’s residence revealed “very disturbing” and “explosive material”.
A bench headed by justice HL Dattu had restrained Bhushan from making public the names of the business men and their lobbyists and asked him to submit those in a sealed cover on Thursday. Any adverse comments by the court can make Sinha’s position as CBI director untenable.
Congress leader Vijay Darda and his son Devendra Darda, both accused in the coal scam being probed by the CBI, were among the frequent visitors, sources told HT. The Dardas couldn’t be reached for comments.
Alleged hawala operator and Kanpur-based meat exporter Moin Akhtar Qureshi, raided by the income-tax department earlier this year, also met Sinha many times, sources said.
Sinha’s 2, Janpath, residence was allegedly also frequented by Ashok Agarwal, an enforcement director official, recently reinstated by the SC after a long suspension. Both Qureshi and Agarwal couldn’t be reached for comments.
Names of Mahendra Nahata, managing director of Himachal Futuristics Communications Limited (HFCL), and former CBI director AP Singh feature regularly on the visitors’ book, sources said. Nahata came under the CBI scanner with regard to Datacom Services, one of the alleged beneficiaries of the 2G scam.
Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda also allegedly met Sinha, said sources. Several calls to the CM’s mobile phone went unanswered.
Bhushan had alleged that top executives of a company being tried in the 2G case met Sinha several times over the last 15 months. It came in the way of administration of justice, he alleged and demanded Sinha be removed from supervising the probe.
Dismissing the claims, Sinha said, “What is the point of such allegations? What have I done because of such meetings?”
“I can meet anybody but the pertinent issue is whether I have done anything to favour such a person in any CBI probe? I have not done anything wrong,” the CBI chief said.
Questioning the accuracy of reports, Sinha said, “They say I met somebody 50 times and 90 times… in the last 15 months. Can somebody meet me 90 and 50 times? Is it possible?”
Sinha was referring to reports that said senior officials of a firm chargesheeted in the 2G scam met him at least 50 times in 15 months at his residence. Former CBI chief Singh, too, questioned media reports. “It has been alleged that I met him (Sinha) on August 8, 2014.
I never met him on August 8. I was not in Delhi that day and returned around midnight.” Sinha was his friend of 40 years and they met at least once in a month, he said, adding, “I don’t think there is anything wrong in it.”