SC wants to know name of whistleblower on guest list row

Last Updated 15 September 2014, 13:33 IST

The Supreme Court today directed advocate Prashant Bhushan, who has levelled allegations against CBI Director Ranjit Sinha of protecting accused in the 2G case, to reveal the name of the whistleblower from whom he got CBI documents and guest list of the top cop's residence.

The apex court said that it would go into the merit of allegations against Sinha after knowing name of the whistleblower who leaked documents including the purported entry register of Director's residence.

A bench of justices H L Dattu and S A Bobde said that the affidavit filed by Bhushan is not in consonance with the Supreme Court rules and asked him to reveal the source from whom he got all the documents.

"Put name of the whistleblower in a sealed envelope. Once we realise that there is no hanky-panky then we would consider what type of probe is to be done," the bench told Bhushan.

Bhushan strongly opposed the suggestion to reveal the name of whistleblower and submitted that all the documents are genuine which can be verified by the apex court itself or it can appoint a committee or SIT to examine their authenticity.

"I can put my life at stake on the issue that register is genuine. It is impossible to fabricate it. I can guarantee that it is genuine register which was maintained at gate," he said, adding, "Its clear that prosecution case in 2G scam is being destroyed by the Director."

The bench, however, requested Bhushan to name the whistleblower in a sealed envelope.

The director questioned the very existence of the diary before the apex court and said that 90 per cent of the entries were fudged though some entries may be genuine.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the top cop, said that somebody else is controlling the proceedings in the case and raised questions on how a media group published a story in advance that Bhushan will be depositing the original guest list before the apex court.
"Director acted in complete bona fide. 90 percent entry is fudged and only some entries may be genuine," he said, contending ""Diary is not an evidence per se"
He alleged that a corporate house is working behind all these controversies and it is intended to benefit some of the accused in the 2G scam.

The apex court also wanted to know the stand of CBI in the controversy but senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for the agency, refused to get into it, saying that it is a matter between advocate Prashant Bhushan and the director.

Venugopal submitted that he represents the CBI and he can't say something which is against head of the agency. He informed the court that Sinha had approached him in the case but he suggested to the top cop to engage an independent counsel for his defence.

Before passing the order, the bench also heard senior advocate Ram Jethmalani by calling him as an adviser to the court, though he was present in the hearing for one of the accused in the 2G case.

Jethmalani referred to information placed by Bhushan and said, "affidavit (by Bhushan) based on hearsay has limited utility".

The apex court, after hearing the case for over one hour, posted it for September 22 and directed its registry to keep all documents and affidavits filed by the director in a sealed cover and deposit them with the Secretary General for safe custody.
Jethmalani made a plea for supply of all documents placed by Bhushan on the CBI director.

The plea was opposed by CBI, Sinha and Bhushan but the bench issued notice and sought their response on Jethmalani's submission by way of their affidavit and posted it for hearing on September 24.

At the beginning of the proceedings, the Director's counsel referred to a media report which said a day before about the original entry register to be submitted by Bhushan in the apex court.

"This court can't be taken for granted. It is very disturbing that a paper reported in advance that Bhushan will be placing original register before the court. How did the paper come to know a day before what Bhushan is going to do in court? Somebody is controlling his movements. It is not Bhushan who is doing it himself. Register was supplied to him from the paper," Singh said.

The bench also raised question on how the paper came to know about it a day before and sought response from Bhushan.

Bhushan, however, said that a section of media has access to diary and media is not in his control.

(Published 15 September 2014, 07:36 IST)

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