The NGO, which accused CBI Director Ranjit Sinha of protecting accused in coal and 2G scams and sought his removal, today refused to reveal name of whistleblower who provided it documents against the top cop, saying it could endanger many lives.
Referring to various incidents in which whistleblowers were killed after their identities were made public, including the case of Satyendra Dube, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), the NGO, submitted that revealing the source of information would "not only be a breach of trust on it's part but would also tantamount to putting them under serious risk of bodily harm, harassment or victimization".
"In light of the developments that have taken place in the instant case a meeting of members of governing body of CPIL was held on September 17. The said members unanimously resolved that the identity of the source would not be disclosed," the NGO said in its affidavit through advocate Prashant Bhushan.
The NGO submitted that allegations against Sinha are genuine and can easily be verified from CBI's own records and the Court may also seek the assistance of Anand Grover, the Special Public Prosecutor in 2G case.
"As far as the meetings stated in the entry register are concerned, they can easily be verified by examining the ITBP and CBI guards who were stationed at the residence of the CBI Director, whose list has already been handed over to the Court along with a copy of the original entry register," it said.
"In India, several whistleblowers have unfortunately been killed after their identity was revealed. The case of Satyendra Dube shocked the nation. He had complained to the PMO about the wrongdoings done by his seniors in NHAI and had specifically asked the PMO not to reveal his identity. The letter was written on November 11, 2002 and Dube was murdered on November 27, 2003 because his identity was made public by the PMO," the affidavit said.
It said Parliament has recently enacted a Whistleblower Protection Act 2011 which also mandates concealing the identity of the whistleblower unless he himself makes his identity public or gives a no-objection to disclosure of his identity.
The NGO submitted that in many cases including Jain dairy, Radia tape, 2G case, the apex court ordered investigation without asking the source of the information and same can be done in the present case also.
"This Court has therefore entertained even letters as PILs, has entertained newspaper reports as evidence and even taken up several cases on its own motion based on newspaper reports or information from other sources.
"Whenever the conscience of this Court has been satisfied regarding certain allegations, it has called upon the authorities to produce records and has also directed probe in several such cases," it said.
The affidavit was filed in compliance of apex court's order which had on September 15 asked the NGO to reveal in a sealed envelope the name of the whistleblower from whom it got CBI documents and guest list of the Director's residence.