Coal: SC gags spl court from making personal comments on IOs

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 18 2014, 00:16am hrs
The Supreme Court today asked the special court dealing with coal blocks allocation cases not to make any personal remarks against the officers probing the scam and stick to the point of law.

A bench, headed by Justice M B Lokur, passed the order after CBI submitted that two of its officers, including a Superintendent of Police (SP), had expressed reservation against continuation in the team of investigators in the wake of observations made by the trial court questioning their skills.

The bench, also comprising justices Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri, asked SP Nirbhay Kumar and inspector Rajbir Singh to continue in the investigating team and made it clear that no officer can opt out of the probe without the permission of the apex court.

While disapproving of the remarks made by the special court, the bench said "it (trial court) will stick to the legal issues and not make any personal remarks."

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for CBI Director Ranjit Sinha, submitted the SP was one of the brightest officers in the department and is credited with successfully probing many high-profile cases and adverse remarks would lead to jeopardising his career.

The agency was objecting to the observation of the trial court that "Director, CBI and DIG, CBI supervising the investigation of the case, shall also ensure that if they find the officers working under them to be lacking in the skills of investigation, they shall ensure proper training and refresher courses for them at CBI Academy so as to hone their skills of investigation."

The observation was made by the trial court in the October 15 order in a case involving Vikash Metals and Power Ltd and its officials in which they were accused of making false claims related to land allocation to get undue advantage in the coal block allocation.

The trial court had expressed displeasure over CBI's probe in the case and its decision to file a closure report without any legally sustainable "reasons or logic"