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Supreme Court seeks Centre’s response on plea seeking CBI probe into alleged smuggling of iron ore to China, evasion of duty

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The Supreme Court on Thursday sought the counter affidavit from the Central Government on a petition seeking directions to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register an FIR and probe the alleged duty evasion by 61 companies, while allegedly ‘smuggling’ iron ore to China since 2015.

The bench comprising Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justice Surya Kant also reprimanded Advocate Sharma for impleading 61 companies without the permission of the court. The bench also read the whole office order of the case and asked, “Show us where we have granted liberty to amend the petition and implead the 61 companies?”

Sharma replied that the permission was granted to him by then Chief Justice SA Bobde orally and the same was not given to him in writing. But the bench refused to accept the contention of Sharma.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for the Centre, sought two weeks’ time to file the response. He said that generally, Mr Sharma is in the habit of filing two pages of crisp draft in the matter but this time, he has submitted a 50-page lengthy well-written draft, but the foundation of the draft is wrong.

Petitioner Sharma submitted to the apex court that a fixed date should be given for listing pf this matter. The CJI accepted his request and directed the court master to give him a fixed date after four weeks. The CJI, then, adjourned the matter.

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Petitioner-cum-lawyer Sharma had moved the apex court, seeking its appropriate orders or directions to the CBI to register an FIR and probe the alleged duty evasion by 61 companies in allegedly ‘smuggling’ iron ore to China since 2015.

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