NewZNew (New Delhi) : CBI Chief Ranjit Sinha has said that noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan cannot claim immunity from disclosing the name of a “whistle blower” who provided him the list of visitors to his official residence and demanded that he reveal his source.
In his affidavit filed before the Supreme Court in response to the plea of Bhushan that Sinha be removed from the 2G scam probe in the wake of his allegations that he met accused and officials of accused companies at his residence, the agency chief said it is not open to the lawyer to argue his case without disclosing the source from which he got the details of the visitors mentioned in their affidavit.
He had filed this affidavit yesterday in response to plea of Bhushan, counsel for an NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, seeking his removal from 2G spectrum scam probe.
Citing a purported entry register of CBI Director’s official residence handed to him by a “whistle blower”, Bhushan alleged several accused and officials of accused companies in the 2G scam and other cases have been frequent visitors at Sinha’s residence.
“It is not enough to contend that the information was given to the petitioner from a whistle blower because the concept of whistle blower would only arise if one is dealing with crimes committed where the whistle blower needs protection against the persons against whom some disclosure is sought to be made,” he said.
[blockquote author=”” pull=”pullleft”]He said concept of whistle blower’s name being kept a secret would arise only when a “specific” averment with “sufficient evidence” of threat to him is placed before the court and even then petitioner must place the name in a sealed cover for the perusal of the court to determine “bona fide”.[/blockquote]
Bhushan had claimed that Sinha had written to then Special Public Prosecutor to re-investigate the case against Reliance Telecom on certain point, a move seen as dilution of case.
He had claimed that this letter was sent when executives of the companies allegedly met the Director at his residence.
The affidavit was turned down by then special public prosecutor U U Lalit, who is now appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court, who said it will damage CBI’s case.
Sinha said Bhushan is making averments with regard to correspondence between him and special public prosecutor which is a privileged communication under Section 126 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
CBI Director claimed that Bhushan is completely barred from referring to the said communication without his express consent.
Notwithstanding “caged parrot” remark made by the Supreme Court on the working of the agency last year, Sinha said no “admonishment” of his has happened by the apex court.
He claimed that the averment made by Prashant Bhushan that he has been admonished by the Supreme Court in the coal scam matter on the point of showing the status report to the Law Minister when admittedly “no admonishment has taken place” is blatantly false statement by the lawyer under oath.
Sinha claimed the statement has been made to harm his reputation and obtain favourable orders from the apex court.
The Supreme Court had last year made scathing comments on the working of CBI for showing the draft status report to then Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and changing “the heart” of the report on his instructions.