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SC gets report on former CBI chief’s links with Qureshi

Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi on Friday handed over to the Supreme Court four volumes of the income tax department’s appraisal report containing “astonishing disclosures” arising from tapped conversations between meat exporter Moin Qureshi and former CBI director A P Singh. They talked on a daily basis and in code words, and high dignitaries were involved. There are indications that accused persons were being helped.

Rohtagi told the judges that all facts packed in the report could not be disclosed, but he was giving only a “trailer”. He asked the judges to read the appraisal report. The three-judge Bench headed by Justice Madan Lokur accepted the report and posted the hearing in the coalscam on December 4.

The judges would have examined the 1,000 page report by then.

The Attorney General clarified that there was no direct evidence in the report about references to the present director, Ranjit Sinha, and since all names were in coded words, no inference could be made. It is reported that Qureshi had met Sinha 90 times in the past 15 months.

Counsel clarified that the income tax department was concerned only with the revenue and the other issues should be dealt with by the law enforcement authorities.

The court which is monitoring the coal block allocation scam, asked the CBI and Enforcement Directorate to submit status reports on the investigation at the next hearing. Earlier 214 coal block allocations were cancelled as they were allotted illegally. The special court is dealing with the criminal aspect of the allocations.

The Supreme Court rejected the prayer of M L Sharma, who moved the public interest litigation in the scam, that companies involved should be blacklisted and the material should be recovered from them.

Prashant Bhushan, who had moved another PIL in this matter, today reiterated his demand that Ranjit Sinha should be taken out of the investigation as he had been meeting accused persons at his official residence several times. One person involved in the coal allocations, Vijay Darda and his son had visited Sinha several times and following that the cases against them were dropped. However, CBI counsel countered the statement and told the judges that they have been charge-sheeted.

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