Substantial progress in probe against Ranjit Sinha, SIT to SC

New Delhi: The CBI’s special investigation team (SIT) on Monday informed the Supreme Court that substantial progress has been made in the probe against the agency’s then chief Ranjit Sinha, who prima facie tried to scuttle the investigation in coal scam cases.

The apex court, which is monitoring the investigation by the CBI and the ED into the coal scam cases, expressed its displeasure over the tardy pace of probe.

“Progress in the investigations by the CBI and ED in the coal scam cases has been slow,” a special bench headed by Justice M B Lokur said.

The apex court appointed special prosecutor R S Cheema apprised the bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri, about the progress in the probe into the coal scam cases and subsequent development involving the CBI’s former director.

Cheema, who was earlier directed by the court to assist the CBI director in the matter involving Sinha, filed a status report on behalf of the SIT headed by present CBI director Alok Verma.

Cheema said the SIT has widened the scope of probe against Sinha and the visitors at the former CBI chief’s house were more than what was mentioned in the diary and its probe was going on.

He added that the SIT was trying to trace all vehicles which used to come regularly at Sinha’s official residence and it would also examine bank accounts of those who were regular visitors there when he was the CBI chief.

The bench listed the matter in the second week of March to see further progress into the investigation after it was informed that SIT will take six more months to complete the probe.

The apex court had on January 23 last year ordered constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the allegations of “abuse of authority” prima facie committed by Sinha to scuttle the probe in coal block allocation cases.