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The CBI has finally delivered on its court-directed mandate. It has filed a case against its former director Ranjit Sinha, under the Prevention of Corruption Act, alleging “scuttling“ and “influencing“ investigation into coal block allocation cases. This was done, says the CBI, to favour certain people.

The visitors’ log at the director’s official residence was the key in identifying these people, who had visited Sinha privately. Many of them were involved in the scam.

On April 24, the CBI reportedly filed an FIR against him, U/S 13 (2) and 13 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. These sections deal with criminal misconduct and abuse of official position while holding a public office and indulging in corruption. Media reports have said that though there has been no official confirmation from the CBI on this FIR, the entire issue is probably being kept under wraps because of the sheer sensitivity of the case.

This is not the first time that an ex-CBI boss has been investigated by the same agency he headed. Not long back, Sinha’s immediate predecessor AP Singh came under the CBI scanner. This had led from Singh’s association with well-known meat exporter and hawala operator Moin Qureshi, and certain BBM messages between them were critical.

In a case initiated by lawyer Prashant Bhushan, the Supreme Court bench of Justices Madan B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and AK Sikri had taken the cognizance of visitors’ issue seriously and had asked current CBI chief Alok Verma to set up an SIT to look into the affairs. This FIR is a result of those investigations.

—India Legal Bureau

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