New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday slammed the CBI for "failing to live up to its reputation" in a fodder scam case involving RJD chief Lalu Prasad for its "intolerable lethargy" in filing an appeal in such a major matter.
The apex court, which questioned the conduct of the agency, also asked its chief to "look into the matter and saddle the responsibility on a concerned person".
The top court warned that "in future, Director, CBI cannot escape the responsibility for delay in such cases to be termed as deliberate one, which is intolerable."
"CBI ought to be guided by its Manual. It is expected of it to be more vigilant. It has failed to live up to its reputation. In the instant case, lethargy on its part is intolerable. If CBI fails to act timely, peoples' faith will be shaken in its effectiveness," a bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy said.
The bench was "surprised" at the conduct of the CBI for the delay in filing the appeal against the 2014 Patna High Court order which had stayed the trial against the RJD supremo after his conviction on one of the cases of multi-crore rupees fodder scam, saying "CBI should have been careful in a matter of such importance."
"Being the head of the institution it was the responsibility of the Director, CBI to ensure that appeals were filed within limitation. There should not have been delay in filing special leave petitions at all," the bench said.