Coal scam probe: CBI registers FIR against its former chief Ranjit Sinha

For misusing position and influencing coal scam probe

Coal scam probe: CBI registers FIR against its former chief Ranjit Sinha
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against its former chief Ranjit Sinha on charges of misusing his official position and trying to influence the coal scam probe.

He became the second retired CBI director to face a regular case filed by the agency in a span of three months, the first being A P Singh booked in February this year on charges of illegally favouring controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

The case against Sinha was registered three months after the Supreme court ordered the CBI to probe the officer after a court-appointed panel found that a probe was needed.

The apex court said it was “prima facie satisfied and convinced” that Sinha needs to face a probe as it feels that he misused his authority.

The CBI officers said the FIR was registered under sections 13(1) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. These sections deal with abusing official position, indulging in corruption and criminal misconduct.

Sinha ended up in trouble after a visitors’ diary landed in the public domain where it suggested that several persons being probed by the CBI met him at his official residence regularly.

The list included coal scam accused, meat exporter Moin Qureshi. Qureshi, who is under income tax scanner, visited Sinha some 90 times, according to the diary, whose authenticity was contested by Sinha.

Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who brought the issue before the apex court, had told the judges that several people with questionable characters were his regular visitors.

The list included Mahendra Nahata, a 2G scam suspect who met Sinha 71 times while consultant Deepak Talwar, who figured in Nira Radia tapes and probed in 2G, called on him 50 times.  Congress MP Vijay Darda (coal scam accused), Sunil Bajaj, head of corporate affairs in Essar who  was probed in the 2G case, and former Medical Council of India chief Ketan Desai (arrested on corruption charges) were his other visitors.

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