The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea to order an inquiry into bribery allegations against former CBI director Ranjit Sinha, accused of demanding money from a person facing charges of illegal export of iron ore.
A bench headed by Justice MB Lokur — monitoring the CBI probe into the coal scam cases — said it was not possible for it to permit Prem Chand Garg, managing director of Shri Lal Mahal Ltd, to give a statement to the special team investigating the charges against Sinha. The panel is probing whether the former CBI boss’s meeting with those accused in the 2G and coal scam cases amounted to interference with the investigation.
When Garg’s counsel, Diljit Ahluwalia, sought permission to approach the high court, the bench said: “You avail the legal remedy available to you. We shall not interfere.”
Garg accused Sinha of forcing him to pay up to dilute the charges against him in the criminal case registered in Bengaluru. The businessman said he first met the former top cop after the FIR was registered in September 2013. His meeting took place at Sinha’s official residence in Delhi where, the application read, the ex-CBI director asked for Rs 12.5 crore. Garg alleged the CBI issued him a notice after he refused to pay.
His company director was arrested but let-off after remaining in jail for two months. During that period, Sinha asked for Rs 15 crore again to let off Garg. He claimed the agency got an open-ended, non-bailable warrant issued against Garg, which the Karnataka high court dismissed on January 28, 2014. By then, a charge sheet was filed against him. Yet, Sinha allegedly called Garg’s wife and demanded Rs 25 crore.