The Supreme Court on Monday asked the CBI to look into all irregularities and proceed accordingly if the incriminating documents and entries in the diary seized from Aditya Birla Group firm Hindalco’s corporate office point to any such offence. “The material has come before the CBI and they are expected to act in accordance with law,” the bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur said, while hearing matters relating to the coal block scam. “It appears that CBI has received certain documents. We are not commenting whether those (documents) do disclose any offence. If any offence through unrelated (to coal allocation scam) may be found we expect the CBI to act on such information in accordance with the law and provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure,” the court said in its order.
Earlier, the CBI had claimed that unaccounted cash worth Rs 25 crore seized from Hindalco’s Delhi office on October 15, 2013, had no connection with the scam.
The court’s directions came after counsel Prashant Bhushan appearing for NGO Common Cause wondered why the investigating agency needed the court’s nod to go ahead with its probe into some unexplained transactions.
He argued that since the seized money was unaccounted wealth, the CBI should also probe the matter relating to the destination and persons behind the money as it involved criminality irrespective of their involvement in the coal scam. Bhushan said the agency was duty-bound to investigate the diary entries which it itself was calling “vague”.
Referring to the entries, he said this means it was a regular practice to give such amounts to public servants. He also contended that besides money, a diary and incriminating documents were seized which allegedly reveal bribery of politicians and officials of ministries by the Group over years. He said the CBI should have filed a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act.