SC rejects ex-CBI director Ranjit Sinha’s plea to recall its order in coal scam
The bench said: “We do not find any reasons to recall our order. The application is dismissed”.india Updated: Mar 24, 2017 21:28 IST
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed plea of former CBI director Ranjit Sinha seeking recall of court’s earlier order constituting a SIT to probe allegations of prima facie scuttling the investigation into coal scam cases during the UPA-I government regime.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur said there were no reasons to recall the January 23 order in which the Supreme Court had observed that a prima facie case was “definitely” made out for probing allegations of abuse of authority by Sinha when he was the director.
The bench, also comprising Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice AK Sikri, said, “We do not find any reasons to recall our order. The application is dismissed”.
In January, the top court had asked CBI director Alok Verma to head SIT into the matter.
The coal scam involved alleged corruption in the allocation of coalfields between 2004 and 2009. In 2012, the comptroller and auditor general had pegged the loss from the scam at around ₹1.86 lakh crore. That figure has often been contested by experts, but the public outcry over the scandal helped usher in certain small-bore reforms in the coal sector, including the introduction of e-auctions.
In 2014, based on a petition filed in public interest, the Supreme Court had ordered a court-monitored CBI investigation and quashed the “illegal and arbitrary” allocation of 214 coal blocks made by the Centre between 1993 and 2010.
A year later, a preliminary inquiry was ordered against Sinha on an application filed by NGO Common Cause who alleged that he, as the CBI head, had met several of the accused when the agency was investigating the scam.
The visitors’ book at Sinha’s official residence was submitted in support of the accusations.