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Entry register case: Setback for CBI Director Ranjit Sinha

The insistence on protection of the whistle-blower in the 2G telecom spectrum case and the demand of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Ranjit Sinha for disclosure of the name of the whistle-blower, relating to controversial entries in the visitors’ diary at his residence, took a new turn on Monday. The Supreme Court appointed special public prosecutor Anand Grover to examine the whole issue and come back to the court on October 10.

The apex court stated that the issue has “great ramifications” not only for the 2G investigations and trial which it is monitoring, but also for future public interest cases. Therefore, the Bench headed by Justice H L Dattu asked Grover to look into all the applications and responses filed regarding the records submitted to the court by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, represented by Prashant Bhushan.

At the start of the hearing, Bhushan “unconditionally apologised for his inability to disclose the name of the whistle-blower” who gave him the file notings and visitors’ register at Sinha’s official residence. His lawyer, Dushyant Dave, denied that there was any attempt at character assassination of Sinha. The issue of the case diaries and the register given in sealed covers to the judges raised more fundamental issues such as whether Sinha should be allowed to be in overall charge of the investigation.

The records given to the judges purportedly contain evidence that Sinha was meeting several accused persons and tinkering with the prosecution. Bhushan wanted Sinha to withdraw from the investigations. He also requested the court to recall the order asking him to disclose the name of the whistle-blower.

Sinha’s counsel, Vikas Singh, argued that Bhushan had committed contempt of court by declining to disclose the name of the mole, even to the judges, as ordered last Monday. He does not trust even the judges. This kind of litigation will do more public harm than good, the counsel insisted.

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