SC asks CBI to look into entries in diary recovered from Hindalco

New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to take a call if the entries in the diary recovered from Aditya Birla group’s Hindalco’s office points to any offence and if so, then to proceed in the matter.

“The material has come before the CBI and they are expected to act in accordance with the law,” said the bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice A.K.Sikri as they heard matters relating of coal block allocations scam.

“It appears that CBI has received certain documents. We are not commenting whether those (documents) do disclose any offence. If any offence through unrelated (to coal blocks allocation scam) may be found, we expect the CBI to act on such information in accordance with the law and the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure,” the court said in its order.

The CBI had received the details of the diary recovered by the Income Tax department during searches at Hindalco office.

The court’s order came after counsel Prashant Bhushan appearing for the NGO Common Cause wondered why the investigating agency needed the court’s nod to go ahead with its investigation into some unexplained transactions.

Bhushan said that the investigating agency was duty bound to investigate the diary entries which it is itself saying to be “vague”. Referring to the entries, he said that this means that this was a regular practice to give such amounts to public servants for ingratiating and bribery.

At the outset of the hearing, senior counsel Amarendra Sharan, appearing for the CBI, told the court there were three categories of entries in the diary. One related to “political donations” by the trusts to all the political parties, prompting observation by Justice Lokur “except one party” in a possible reference to the Aam Aadmi Party, which discloses details of all donors.

Other category, Sharan said, related to money earmarked for giving gifts to officials with certain expenditure limit.

“Some entries are vague”, he said, telling the court about that the agency will register a preliminary enquiry.

“We purpose to do that. We are looking for permission (of the court),” Sharan told the court as it asked: “Does it come within the coal matter being heard by us.”

At this Bhushan told the court that if CBI gets information that may not be connected with the coal scam, they are duty bound to investigate it.

On Sasan UMPP, the court said that it would look into the matter only after receiving report from CBI’s former special director, M.L.Sharma who has been tasked to find out whether the meetings that the then CBI director Ranjit Sinha had with some of the coal scam accused in any way influenced the course of the investigations or final conclusions.

The court said this as Bhushan told the court that the coal from the captive mines allocated for Sasan Ultra-Mega Power Project could have only been used for Power Project but it was allowed to diverted for use for other projects of Anil Ambani-owned Reliance companies.

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