Former CBI director Ranjit Sinha admits meeting 2G, coal scam accused

New Delhi(PTI): In a candid confession, former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Ranjit Sinha on Monday admitted before the Supreme Court that he had met 2G and coal case accused persons at his official residence, 2 Janpath.

His lawyer Vikas Singh said so on advocate Prashant Bhushan’s plea alleging Sinha had interfered and scuttled the probe into the coal block allocations.

This is for the first time Sinha is admitting meeting the accused in an open court, after demitting office on December 3 last year.

He, however, refuted allegations by Bhushan in his plea with reference to the visitor’s diary at 2 Janpath.

“I am not trying to say that I have not met the accused person. Denying meeting with the accused persons is not correct. However, I deny the meeting as alleged by Bhushan,” senior advocate Vikas Singh told the bench headed by justice Madan B Lokur.

Justifying his client’s act, Singh said that, as a supervisory officer, Sinha can meet the accused persons to know the facts. But he had not favoured any of the accused. He insisted that Sinha did not meet any accused more than 90 or 100 times. “…If he wanted to favour any accused, a single phone call is enough,” he added.

In September 2014, dna, which accessed the diary details, had exposed Sinha’s meeting with the accused persons in the 2G and coal scams, and also with alleged hawala operator Moin Qureshi and his attempt to derail investigations.

Citing the dna report, Bhushan had filed a plea in the court, seeking an SIT probe into Sinha’s meeting with the coal-case accused and his attempt to derail investigations.

Sinha’s counsel argued that Bhushan’s allegations are false as the diary in question is not genuine. No such official diary was maintained at Sinha’s residence.

The lawyer submitted that, as per the court’s May 8, 2013 order, the internal official notes on the progress of the coal probe should not have been shared but the documents had come into the hands of others.

The court’s March 23, 2014 order for transfer of PEs in the coal scam to the CVC was also misinterpreted in Bhushan’s plea.

Meanwhile, the CBI on Monday stood by Sinha, saying all allegations against him are false as the former director had not ruled out the decisions taken by his juniors in connection with the probe in the coal block allocation cases.

“Records speak for themselves. This type of exchange of opinion take place among senior level officers in every office. Since this case is being monitored by the apex court, there is a foo-proof system which works there,” CBI counsel Amerendra Sharan argued.

About Bhushan’s allegation against Sinha’s link with Congress leader Vijay Darda and the role of meat exporter Moin Qureshi in a coal block case involving Darda, the senior lawyer cited the I-T department report, which gave a clean chit to Sinha saying “Whatever decision was taken by the department in this case, it was unanimous.”

He sought the court not to pass any order which would damage the credibility of the institution.

“Any order passed by the court will have wider consequences on the credibility of the institution,” Sharan said.