The Central Bureau of Investigation appears to have worked round the clock to book its former chief Ranjit Sinha after the Supreme Court directed the probe agency to look into Sinha’s alleged attempts to scuttle investigation into the coal block allocation scam.
According to the FIR accessed by HT, the investigation into the case gained pace on March 24. The apex court had been waiting for final reports from the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on the missing coal block scam files for which CBI had filed two preliminary enquiry (PE).
The case took a twist in January when senior advocate Prashant Bhushan alleged that CBI joint director Vineet Vinayak was related to an individual who was member of the screening committee of coal ministry when the coal blocks were allocated.
While Bhushan had claimed there was conflict of interest on Vinayak’s behalf, the apex court closed the matter after Rakesh Asthana, who briefly held the position of interim CBI director and the current director Alok Verma filed reports refuting Bhushan’s charge.
The next major development came when the court ordered clearance of an application for voluntary retirement put in by inspector Rakesh Shukal who was probing the missing coal block files.
The court noted that as no case was pending with Shukal, his application may be processed. The ultimate move that led to an FIR against Sinha was the formation of a SIT comprising joint director AK Sharma and SP S Kiran.
Once SC dismissed Sinha’s plea against the SIT formation, files related to the case were handed over to the CBI paving way Sinha being booked.