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SC bars CBI from going ahead with final chargesheet in coal scam

The Supreme Court today asked the CBI not to take any final decision relating to filing of chargesheets in the coalgate investigation till the fate of the CBI director Ranjit Sinha is decided by the bench of the next Chief Justice.

Status quo shall be maintained.

Sinha is accused of tampering with investigation in both 2G spectrum and coalgate cases to protect the accused persons. The bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha today heard the coalgate batch of applications and adjourned the hearing till October 17. By then his bench would have changed due to his retirement next week.

The 2G matters are before Justice H L Dattu, who is slated to take over next week as Chief Justice. Since the applications are similar in both scams, the new coalgate bench will wait for the decision of the 2G  bench.

The Centre for Public Interest Litigation, represented by Prashant Bhushan, has given in sealed cover the notings on the investigation files and the visitors’ register kept at Sinha’s official residence.

The 2G bench headed by Justice Dattu has asked Bhushan to reveal the name of the whistle blower who obtained the incriminating documents before proceeding further. Bhushan has emphatically rejected the request.

He has reiterated his demand that Sinha should withdraw from the investigations, and a special investigative team should be asked to probe his role in the two scams. The court asked Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi to state the government’s view on these two demands.

Sinha’s counsel Vikas Singh told the court today that Bushan was defying the court order and has refused to give the name of the whistle blower even to the court in a sealed cover.

The documents are forged and defamatory and meant only for the media. It is destroying the reputation of Sinha. If the documents are proved false, Bhushan and his organization must be ordered to compensate Sinha, Singh submitted.

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