Coal Gate: Special Investigation Team to look into the alleged abuse of power by Ranjit Sinha

Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of Madan B.Lokur, Kurian Joseph and Dr. A.K. Sikri, JJ directed that a Special Investigating Team led by the Director, CBI along with two officers of the CBI nominated by the Director should look into the report prepared by M.L. Sharma and other relevant documents and conduct an investigation into the abuse of authority prima facie committed by Ranjit Sinha, the then Director of CBI, with a view to scuttle enquires, investigations and prosecutions being carried out by the CBI in coal block allocation cases.

It was further directed that the Director, CBI should take the Chief Vigilance Commissioner into confidence in respect of the investigations. Mr. R.S. Cheema who is already a Special Public Prosecutor in the coal block allocation cases, will assist the Director, CBI and his team on legal issues.

Earlier, by order dated 14th May, 2015, the Court had held that it was completely inappropriate for Ranjit Sinha to have met persons accused in the coal block allocation cases without the investigating officer being present or without the investigating team being present and had formed a Committee headed by M.L. Sharma, IPS (Retired), former Special Director CBI and former Central Information Commissioner to look into the allegations. [Common Cause v. Union of India, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 54, order dated 23.01.2017]

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