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2G scam: Transfer of probe in-charge 'administrative decision', says CBI chief

PTI | Last Updated: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 09:22

New Delhi: Facing Supreme Court criticism for transferring the in-charge of the 2G spectrum allocation probe, CBI Director Ranjit Sinha on Tuesday said it was an administrative decision.

CBI, which drew flak from Supreme Court over allegations that it was scuttling the probe against the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Telecom, refused to comment on the matter.

However, regarding the transfer of the officer, Sinha said it was purely an "administrative decision" and the officer, DIG Santosh Rastogi, has not yet been relieved from his duties.

"He will continue in his position as directed by Supreme Court," Sinha said.

The comments came hours after Supreme Court yesterday reacted sharply and termed a "serious matter" the reports suggesting that Rastogi has been shunted out of the investigation into all aspects of the 2G spectrum scam.

He was transferred to the Special Crime unit of the agency, replacing its DIG Madhup Tiwari, who has been sent to the banking fraud investigation unit.

"If that has been done, ask them (CBI) to rectify," a bench headed by Justice HL Dattu said when reports about Rastogi, who has been supervising the probe into the 2G scam, were brought to the notice of the court.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), submitted that Rastogi has been shunted out of the investigation into the 2G scam.

He said that was done despite the order of the apex court providing protection to all officials involved in the probe from being shifted without its permission.

The bench, also comprising Justices Pinaki Chandra Ghosh and SA Bobde, said it was a "serious matter" and asked CBI counsel KK Venugopal to get all the files and records to verify Bhushan's submission.

Bhushan said that even senior advocate UU Lalit, who was appointed as the Special Public Prosecutor by the apex court for conducting the prosecution into 2G scam-related matters, has written a note to CBI opposing Rastogi's transfer.

Rastogi, who used to regularly come to the apex court in connection with the matter, was absent yesterday.

First Published: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 09:12
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