The Central Bureau of Investigation filed a case against its former director Ranjit Sinha on Tuesday in the coal blocks allocation scam under the Prevention of Corruption Act, reported ANI. Sinha allegedly met a few prime accused at his house, and tried to influence the investigation into the case.
A First Information Report under Sections 13 (1) (d) (abusing official position and indulging in corruption), and 13 (2) (criminal misconduct) under the Prevention of Corruption Act has been filed against Sinha, reported The Times of India. This is the second time the CBI has acted against one of its former directors. In February, the CBI had filed an FR against former director AP Singh for allegedly favouring meat exporter Moin Qureshi.
In January, the Supreme Court had directed the CBI to inquire Sinha’s role in the scam and asked a Special Investigation Team to look into the accusations against him. In July 2016, a Supreme Court-appointed panel, led by former CBI special officer ML Sharma, had noted that Sinha had tried to influence the investigation.
The former CBI director’s alleged attempt to sway the investigation came to light in 2014 after senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan presented the Supreme Court with a visitor’s logbook to Sinha’s house. The logbook purportedly contained entries from many high-profile accused in the coal scam case.
The scandal surfaced after the Comptroller and Auditor General found discrepancies in government allocations of coalfields during former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s term that had led to a loss of around Rs 1.86 lakh crore to the national exchequer. Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, Hindalco, Essar Power, Tata Steel and Tata Power were among the 25 companies named as beneficiaries in the CAG report. The CBI had filed a chargesheet in the case in April 2015.