The Supreme Court has asked the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to take former CBI special director MN Sharma’s assistance in its probe against Ranjit Sinha, who is facing charges of scuttling the coal block allocation scam when he was the agency chief.
This was suggested on Monday by a bench headed by Justice MB Lokur, which also said the CVC should take Sharma’s consent.
The SC had, on May 14, pulled up Sinha for his “completely inappropriate” meetings with the coal scam-accused in the absence of investigating officers (IOs) and had said “further inquiry is necessary” to ascertain the fairness and impact of his conduct in the probe.
It had sought the CVC’s assistance to determine the methodology for conducting an inquiry on whether his meetings with the accused had any impact on the investigations, subsequent charge sheets, or closure reports filed by the CBI.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that since the CVC did not have its own investigating arm, officers from CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) can assist it.
At this, the bench suggested Sharma’s name, noting he was an “outstanding officer” and enjoyed “good reputation”.It also said, “If Sharma has no objection, ask him to give three or four names of officers who can assist him.”
The court, however, turned down petitioner advocate Prashant Bhushan’s suggestion to include retired IPS officer Prakash Singh in the team. His contention to include a retired SC judge was also declined by the bench.