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SC seeks fresh status report from CBI, ED in coal scam


New Delhi, May 8 :

As the CBI continued to resist the move to submit its closure reports in some of the coal scam cases for examination by the CVC, the Supreme Court Thursday asked the investigating agency and the Enforcement Directorate to file fresh status report on their investigations till June 30.

Directing the listing of the matter July 8, a bench of Chief Justice R.M.Lodha, Justice Madan B.Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph said that the fresh status reports should reach the court by July 7.Coal 1

The court also asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to submit the material of 25 preliminary enquiries in coal scam-related cases to the Central Vigilance Commission for its examination and report to the apex court.

The court also accepted the communication from CBI which said that in the wake of certain controversies, the investigating agency’s officer O.P.Galhotra has recused himself from the probe team.

The court said that its acceptance of recusal by Galhotra was in no way a reflection on his professional competence, capacity and integrity.

However, as deadlocked prevailed over whether CBI’s closure reports should be sent to CVC for examination before being submitted to the magistrate court to close the cases, the court indicated that investigating agency would not proceed with these cases till some way out was found on the contentious issue.

In the course of the hearing, the apex court sought to remind the investigating agency that the freedom it had got for not taking government consent before investigating officials of the joint secretary and above was not without reasonable restrictions.

The court was referring to the unshackling the CBI of taking prior sanction of the government before investigating the officers of the rank of joint secretary and above following the striking down of section 6A of Delhi Special Police Establishment Act by the constitution bench on Tuesday.

“Every freedom has inbuilt restrictions , there have to be internal checks,” said Chief Justice Lodha who had authored the constitution bench judgment.

The court Thursday again reiterated its poser to CBIA as to how sections 8(1) and 8(2) of the CVC Act would be affected if CVC was asked to examine the material based on which the CBI was filing the closure report in some of the coal scam-related cases.

As senior counsel Amrendra Saran refused to budge from his opposition to such a move, Justice Joseph said that the court are not asking CVC to examine these closure reports either under the CVC Act or any other statutory provision but just for assisting the court.

Chief Justice Lodha reminded Saran that court was only monitoring the investigation, not examining the material and wanted to ensure that probe proceeds in the right direction.

The next hearing will take place on July 8.