CBI ex-chief Ranjit Sinha booked for influencing coal block probe

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New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday filed a case against its former Director Ranjit Sinha for his alleged role in influencing the coal block scam probe during his tenure as the head of agency.

This is second such instance when the premier investigating agency has launched a probe against one of its former directors on criminal charges.

In February this year, the CBI had booked former Director A.P. Singh for allegedly favouring meat exporter Moin Qureshi, an accused in a money laundering case.

The CBI’s move on Tuesday comes nearly three months after the Supreme Court directed it to probe the 1974-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer.

A three-member apex court bench, headed by Justice Madan B. Lokur, had in January stated that it was “prima facie satisfied and convinced” that Sinha had abused his position and authority as the CBI Director while probing the coal block scam.

The court appointed a panel headed by Special CBI Director M.L. Sharma to investigate Sinha’s role. He was tasked to head the court-appointed investigation in July 2015 based on a complaint from Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan.

Bhushan accused Sinha, who served as the CBI Director from 2012 to 2014, of holding several meetings at his official residence with some of the accused in the coal scam that included senior politicians and businessmen.

The lawyer had also produced the visitors’ register at Sinha’s official residence to back his contention.

The court on January 23 directed the probe agency to set up a Special Investigation Team to probe Sinha and asked incumbent agency Director Alok Verma to probe the former agency chief with “due earnestness”.

The Supreme Court also ordered Verma to pick two officers of his choice in the CBI to carry out the probe.

–IANS

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