New Delhi, April 15: The Supreme Court has said the CBI probe against Eastern Coalfields Ltd director Tapan Kumar Singh should continue under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
A division bench of Justices N. Santosh Hegde and B.P. Singh has set aside a Calcutta High Court order quashing the CBI investigation against Tapan on a technical ground.
On an appeal by the superintendent of police, CBI, Calcutta, the Supreme Court said: “In the instant case, the information received by the SP, CBI, spells out the offence of criminal misconduct under Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, in as much as there is a clear allegation that the respondent (Tapan) has demanded and accepted a sum of Rs 1 lakh by way of illegal gratification.”
The CBI sleuths had arrested Tapan when he was about to board the Gitanjali Express on his way to Nagpur, allegedly with the bribe.
The apex court said: “The allegation is not as vague and bald as the high court makes it out to be. There is a further assertion that the respondent was carrying with him the said sum of Rs 1 lakh and was to board the Gitanjali Express going to Nagpur...”
“The allegation certainly gives rise to a suspicion that a cognizable offence may have been committed by the respondent, which the superintendent of police, CBI, was empowered to investigate,” said Justice Singh, writing the judgment for the bench.
“Therefore, if the superintendent of police, CBI, proceeded to intercept the respondent and investigate the case, he did only that which he was in law obliged to do. His taking up the investigation, therefore, cannot be faulted,” the bench said.
The high court had quashed the investigation on the ground that the information in the FIR did not disclose “all the ingredients of the offence”.