NEW DELHI: CBI Director Ranjit Sinha has admitted meeting two senior Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) officials at his residence but claimed he had done them no favours. The CBI director, who is in the eye of a storm after activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan alleged that Sinha had met persons linked to those accused in the 2G and coal scams, in an interview with ET claimed a “deep-rooted” conspiracy was being hatched against him and expressed apprehension that he was under surveillance.
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan plans to submit a diary to the SC which has details of visitors to your residence… Is the diary genuine?
I do not know. There are two official diaries with me. I don’t know from where this third diary has emerged. In one diary, my movement is recorded as I am Z-level protectee.
In the other diary, Delhi Police officers record checks on the guards stationed there. Visitor names are never recorded in any diary. The guards at the gate only call on the intercom and check with me when a visitor is there. If such a visitor’s register is maintained, there should be some signature on it – of Delhi police, CBI or the visitor. Is it there?
No! Somebody has been recording details of the visitors mischievously by sitting somewhere. So somebody has to prove the genuineness of the said diary. Who has seized this or who has sold it? I have spoken to my staff at the residence, they say they know nothing. I called for the visitor’s register yesterday, there was nothing in it. I was shocked. If there was a record, someone would come to me and show it, get my signatures.
The main allegation is that two senior officials of Reliance Group met you…
Yes, I have met them! Certainly! I know them for the last 30 years, so what? I have met them, I do not deny that. Meeting anyone is not banned. A team of industrialists is accompanying the prime minister to Japan. The question is whether I have shown any favours. The controversy is about that. Where is the favour?
The allegation is that you also wrote to 2G Special Prosecutor UU Lalit to allegedly weaken the case against Reliance Group…
Yes, I had written to Mr Lalit. So what? Did it favour them? Nothing happened on it. Whatever I have written was already on record earlier. I did not invent anything.
But why should the CBI director meet people close to the accused or accused themselves?
Meeting people who have a grievance against officers of CBI is part of my duty. Why should I not meet them? Are they terrorists? They come and complain about the investigation being done. Where else will they go? Even during the investigation we meet many people. It is my duty to hear people and redress their grievances. They come and tell me that there has been injustice against them, please do something. I look into the matter, speak to the investigating officer and joint director to know the progress of the case. Do you want me to isolate myself from everybody and live in my ivory tower? MMany other people who meet me are my sources of information. I have an office at my residence. Should I live in isolation? You should appreciate that I am available and accessible.
Why are you being snooped upon, as you alleged, or being targeted? Who is behind this?
I do not know…if this is corporate warfare and someone has personal enmity against me, I do not know. This is intrusion into my personal life. It is shocking. This is character assassination. What are the people behind this planning to do? It is a deep-rooted conspiracy against me.
The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected CBI Director Ranjit Sinha’s plea to restrain media from examining the visitors’ register at his official residence after questions were raised over his meeting several high-profile accused in various corruption cases.
A bench headed by Justice HL Dattu said it had gone through the documents and asked advocate Prashant Bhushan to file an affidavit annexing the materials.
“We have gone through the documents. We cannot take cognisance of this until it is placed on record,” the bench said.
The bench agreed to give an urgent hearing on the issue and decided to assemble at 10 AM, half an hour before the normal court time, on Monday.
In his plea, Sinha submitted that his right to privacy and reputation was involved in the case and pleaded the court to restrain the media.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the CBI Director, raised questions on the veracity and source of the documents.
The CBI Director also refuted all the allegations made against him, saying all such statements are “patently false”.
However, the court turned down the plea to restrain the media from broadcasting or publishing news stories based on the documents.
The advocate also raised questions on how the documents got leaked despite apex court’s order that they should be placed before it in a sealed envelope.
Singh further pleaded that apex court should ask Bhushan about the source from which he acquired those documents.
The CBI Director is at the centre of a controversy after an NGO had told the Supreme Court that entry register of his residence portrays a “very disturbing” and “explosive material” coming in the way of administration of justice in 2G spectrum allocation scam.
News sources: Economic Times and Times of India