Releasing a clarification, the CBI on Saturday said that the gold was not kept in the Malkhana of CBI, but in premises of Surana only under their seal and in the presence of an independent witness and Surana Corporation MD and other company officials.
Madras HC orders probe into missing of 103 kg gold from CBI custody. (Reuters Image)
Gold missing from CBI custody: The Madras High Court has ordered the Tamil Nadu police to probe the case of missing gold from CBI custody. Around 400 kg gold in ornaments and bullions was confiscated by the central investigation agency when it conducted search operations at Surana Corporation Ltd Chennai office in 2012. The gold was kept in the vaults of Surana Corporation under lock and key by CBI. However, over 103 kg of gold was found missing when vaults were opened in February.
PTI citing sources reports that an inquiry under a SP-ranked officer was ordered in March but soon after lockdown came into force, making it difficult to call people and record statements. The sources also told the news agency that the officers involved in the seizure eight years ago had retired and it was difficult to track them during the lockdown. In the meantime, Surana approached the High Court following which a decision was taken to wait for its orders, the report said.
During the hearing on Friday, the CBI said that its prestige would ‘go down’ if the case was probed by the local police. Rejecting this submission, the Madras HC said that all policemen be it local police or the CBI should be trusted and the probe should be considered as ‘agnipariksha’ (test of fire) by the investigating agency, according to PTI. “It does not lie in the mouth of one to say that CBI has special horns, whereas, local police have only tail,” the court said.
Releasing a clarification, the CBI on Saturday said that the gold was not kept in the Malkhana of CBI, but in premises of Surana only under their seal and in the presence of an independent witness and Surana Corporation MD and other company officials. It said as per the directions of the High Court, the vaults were opened in the presence of official liquidator, officials belonging to six banks and independent witnesses and inspected from February 27 to February 29 to hand over the gold to the lender banks of Surana Corporation.
“The seals affixed on the vaults were found intact. However, gold weighed only 296.66 kgs. As the discrepancy between the quantity mentioned in search memo and as per the weight came to notice, CBI promptly ordered an internal inquiry by a senior officer to look into the role of its officials, if any,” the CBI said.
The CBI further clarified that it has ordered an internal enquiry to look into the role of any of their officials in the theft of 100 kg gold and if an adverse role of any official surfaces, strict action will be taken against them. “A case will be registered by the CB-CID of State and investigation will be conducted by an officer of the rank of SP in CB-CID,” the statement said.