The Supreme Court on Thursday accepted CBI's decision to allow its senior officer to recuse himself from probe in all cases of coal block allocation scam after aspersions were cast on him.
The apex court made it clear that its clearance to the decision of CBI director to accept the recusal of its joint director OP Galhotra from all Coalgate cases "should not be treated that adverse observations have been made against him".
"Since OP Galhotra, joint director, has sought to recuse himself from cases of coal block allocation and his request has been accepted by the CBI director, nothing further needs to be said."
"By accepting the recusal of Galhotra, it is made clear that it should not be treated as adverse comment relating to his professional commitment," a bench comprising chief justice RM Lodha and justices MB Lokur and Kurian Joseph said.
At the outset of the hearing on Coalgate, CBI counsel Amarender Sharan said he has the instruction to read the administrative note of director Ranjit Sinha in open court about withdrawal of Galhotra from the cases.
The counsel also read out the letter of Galhotra in which he claimed that aspersions were cast on him without verifying facts that he was neither personally nor socially related to Congress MP Navin Jindal, who is an accused in the scam.
The bench was told that insinuations were made against Galhotra without verifying the facts and the joint director offered to recuse himself from the investigation into cases of coal block allocation scam.
In his place, additional director RK Dutta will be the supervisory officer for all coal scam related cases, Sharan informed the bench.
The bench proceeded with the hearing in the matter with a warning that no counsel would indulge in making personal allegations against each other.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, Common Cause, had alleged that there was conflict of interest while accusing Galhotra of advising CBI to desist from filing charge sheets after being privy to status reports.
Bhushan had alleged that Galhotra was related to family of Jindal.