SC raps CBI for delays in coal scam probe

SC raps CBI for delays in coal scam probe

Rapping the CBI for delays in investigating coal scam cases, the Supreme Court on Monday asked the agency to conclude the probe without further extensions or transfer of officers.

A three-judge bench presided over by Justice Madan B Lokur pointed out that the probe is not over though the deadline to conclude it was December 31 last year.

“It can't go on like this. We are very clear about it. You have to be clear as well,” the bench told senior advocate Amrendra Sharan, appearing for the CBI.

“We must express our unhappiness that the investigation was getting prolonged due to delay. We expect it to conclude at the earliest without seeking extension of time or transfer of officers,” the bench added.

The court did not disguise its unhappiness when the CBI asked its permission to release one senior officer from the investigation since he has to take up a fresh assignment at the National Defence Council.

“We don't want to come in the way of professional achievement, promotion and transfer of the officers. What happens to the investigation? If this will not affect, then it will surely prolong the probe,” the bench said.

Sharan told the court that it had given the CBI time till March 31, 2016, to wrap up the cases and by now, 15 more cases have also come up.

The court pointed out that despite provisional orders from Enforcement Directorate to attach properties worth Rs 186 crore, Rs 24.5 crore and Rs 2 crore, the probe agency did not file complaints in two of the cases but kept mentioning in its progress reports until September 11 that it would file a “complaint shortly.”

In the third case with provisional attachment orders for more than Rs 2 crore, it is not clear whether the ED intended to file the complaint. 

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