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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Crucial hearing on coal scam in SC on Tuesday

Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 31, 2014
First Published: 14:03 IST(31/8/2014) | Last Updated: 14:08 IST(31/8/2014)

The crucial hearing on coal scamwill be held on Tuesday in the Supreme Court where the CBI is likely to inform the court about the alleged manipulation of facts by vested interests to delay the ongoing trial in the 2G scam.

According to sources in the agency, the counsel had been briefed about its stand which includes informing the apex court about "certain moles" in the probe agency who were providing documents to people outside.

The leaked papers were twisted by vested interests to suit their alleged motive of delaying the trial, the sources said and made it clear that the CBI was in no way trying to put any impediment in the judicial process.

The agency is also likely to inform the Supreme Court about the progress made in the Tata-Unitech deal, in which the agency has registered a Preliminary Enquiry and also sought a report of Serious Fraud Investigating Office under Ministry of Corporate Affairs which had claimed that Unitech was a front company for the Tata group in securing 2G spectrum licence.

The CBI counsel may also inform the apex court about the alleged failure on part of the agency's probe team in not probing the case, the sources said.

On the directions of the Supreme Court, the CBI has already handed over all relevant documents and records to senior counsel K K Venugopal about an opinion given by CBI Director Ranjit Sinha in response to a plea filed by Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL) seeking quashing of case against it.

The CBI Director opined that the agency had not taken an opinion of Law and Justice Ministry which had claimed that there was no case made out against RTL as the company had quit Swan Telecom before it was allocated the spectrum.

The opinion was submitted to the then counsel U U Lalit, the sources said and the CBI director did not act suo motu in the case and he was rather asked to give his view in the matter which he did after perusing the entire case records, the sources said.

These all case records may be put forward before the apex court if the judges warranted so.

The CBI is also likely to inform the Supreme Court that the opinion of the Director was "leaked deliberately" by "certain moles" in the agency, it was not available in any public domain.

The opinion of the director had been sent to the then CBI counsel Lalit, who was later elevated as Supreme Court judge. Lalit had, however, rejected the opinion.

Citing an instance where the CBI was accused of delaying investigations, the sources claimed that the apex court had been misled about CBI's Deputy Inspector General Santosh Rastogi being a part of the team probing the 2G scam and that he had been transferred for not toeing the line of his superiors.

In its reply, the CBI is likely to inform the Supreme Court that Rastogi, a 1998 Maharashtra cadre officer, was never a member of the probe team and that he had volunteered himself for a transfer to another department four months ago.

The CBI is also likely to inform the apex court that Rastogi, in an alleged act of "insubordination", had recused himself from probing the Tata-Unitech deal despite clear orders from the Director CBI to do so.


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