CBI chief row: Bhushan 'won't name' whistleblower

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 19, 2014 00:57 IST

In a stand that could lead to a face-off between the Supreme Court and CPIL — an NGO represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan — the latter has declined to disclose the identity of the ‘whistle-blower’ who leaked the visitors’ logbook at CBI chief Ranjit Sinha’s Delhi residence.

Asserting the allegations against Sinha were correct and could be verified through a probe, the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) affidavit filed Thursday said that revealing the whistle-blower’s identity would endanger the lives of many. CPIL members on September 17 unanimously resolved that the source would not be disclosed.

“The said person has revealed important information to the CPIL’s counsel under the clear understanding that his/her identity shall be protected,” said the affidavit. It cited the 2011 case of Satyendra Dube who was murdered after his name was leaked from the Prime Minister’s Office, where he sent a letter exposing the alleged corruption in NHAI’s project in Bihar.

“Whenever the conscience of this court has been satisfied regarding certain allegations, it has called upon the authorities to produce records and has also directed probe in several such cases,” CPIL said.

A bench headed by justice HL Dattu, set to take over as the chief justice on September 28, had on September 15 directed CPIL’s lawyer Prashant Bhushan to submit the whistle-blower’s name to the court in a sealed cover after the CBI chief had argued that the affidavit revealing the contents of the visitors’ diary was not in conformity to the SC rules. The court will take up CPIL’s affidavit on September 22.

CPIL said the allegations against Sinha could be easily verified from CBI’s own records and for this the court may seek the assistance of Anand Grover, the Special Public Prosecutor in 2G case. The NGO submitted that in many cases including Jain dairy, Radia tape, 2G case, the apex court ordered investigation without asking the source of the information and same can be done in the present case also.

Turning the heat on the CBI director, NGO Common Cause Thursday moved an application before the SC to direct the Centre to place the progress made by the Income Tax department in its probe against Moin Akhtar Qureshi.

Common Cause, a petitioner before the SC in the coal block scam, said that the meat exporter had met Sinha at his residence about 90 times in the last 15 months and added that Qureshi’s premises have been raided by the IT authorities and several important documents and his computers have been seized by the DGIT.

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