Act on cash, diary from Hindalco office, apex court tells CBI

Act on cash, diary from Hindalco office, apex court tells CBI

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the CBI to proceed in accordance with law on the issue of registration of an FIR into the alleged seizure of unaccounted cash worth Rs 25 crore, a diary and other incriminating documents from Aditya Birla Group’s Corporate Office here in 2013.

A three-judge bench presided over by Justice Madan B Lokur noted the CBI’s written note indicated that the money was meant for political donations, some budgetary sanctions and for some other purpose in which the CBI had already started its preliminary investigation.

The “diary” is said to contain a list of an estimated 1,000 payments purportedly made to politicians and MPs of several parties by a Birla company trust over a 10-year period.
“We expect the CBI to act on all the informations that have been disclosed and to take action in accordance with the law and the provisions of Criminal Procedure Code and the law laid down by this court,” the bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Jopseh and A K Sikri, said.

The court also said that it does not propose a monitor to the case as it does not fall under the category of coal scam cases.

Appearing for NGO Common Cause, advocate Prashant Bhushan submitted that an FIR was required to be registered without delay. He cited the constitution bench judgment in Lalitha Kumari case holding that an FIR must be registered on disclosure of an offence.
The recovered documents allegedly indicate payments to politicians and political groups, he claimed, adding the CBI cannot wash its hands off from investigating the diary.

He also referred to the Niira Radia tape case and said a similar situation had arisen there too and the apex court had come out with the order calling for probe in continuity with the telecom scam.

In a related proceedings, former CBI chief Ranjit Sinha opposed a request made by the court-appointed panel to get access to the alleged original visitors’ diary of his official residence during his tenure.

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