'CBI director needn't appear before trial court'

'CBI director needn't appear before trial court'

The Delhi High Court Thursday directed a joint director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to appear before a trial court in place of the agency's chief, who had been summoned over some missing documents related to an alleged land scam here.

"In my opinion, it would be difficult for the director of CBI to appear personally before the trial court as he has to oversee entire function of the agency," the court said.

Special Judge A.K. Mendiratta Dec 21, 2010 had issued notice to the CBI director to appear before it Jan 12.

"Joint director of CBI would appear before the trial court instead of CBI director, the order of trial court dated Dec 21, 2010 is modified to that extent," Justice Suresh Kait ruled.

"CBI should ensure that it shall provide complete details and assistance to the trial court," the high court said.

The CBI director had Wednesday moved the Delhi High Court against the trial court order.
The case relates to Delhi Vidhan Sabha canteen’s former contractor Ashok Malhotra, who was arrested Aug 6, 2007 along with Municipal Corporation of Delhi and Delhi Development Authority officials for allegedly conspiring to acquire plots - in Molarband in south Delhi and Dheerpur in north Delhi - meant for resettlement of slum dwellers.

The CBI chief was summoned to explain the circumstances in which facts regarding the missing documents were suppressed in the trial court.

The trial court came to know about the missing documents Nov 28, 2011 when it was told by the CBI that the documents and the statements could not be filed in the court as the investigating officer of the case, Inspector D.K. Thakur, was arrested in a corruption case.

The CBI also told the court that the case record was not handed over by Thakur to any other colleague and the documents relied upon by the probe agency could not be recovered from his office.

Special CBI judge in his order said: "Notice be issued to the director, CBI, to appear in person to explain the circumstances in which facts regarding the missing documents were suppressed."

"The matter is of exceptional nature as the sensitive documents relating to the case have not been placed along with the chargesheet and are stated to be missing," said the court.