New Delhi: CBI Director Ranjit Sinha was on Friday present in a meeting of chiefs of economic investigating agencies with Finance Minister Arun Jaitely fuelling speculation over his continuance in the post in the wake of Supreme Court removing him from the 2G scam probe.
The meeting lasted for nearly an hour during which issues related to economic crimes, collection of intelligence and procedural hurdles in brining back black money were discussed, the sources said.
It, however, sparked speculation of a message being delivered by the Government for Sinha to proceed on leave but there was no official confirmation.
Sinha was asked by the SC yesterday to recuse himself from the investigations in the 2G Telecom spectrum scam.
Additional Director R K Dutta has been given the charge of investigation in the case.
Sources in the government said besides Sinha, the meeting was also attended by Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha and the chiefs of Enforcement Directorate, Financial Intelligence Unit among others.
Due to retire on December 2, Sinha had yesterday suffered a major blow when the apex court removed him from the 2G probe, saying the allegations against him of protecting some accused appear to be "prima facie credible".
The court had handed over the case to the senior-most officer after Sinha in the investigating team probing the spectrum scam.
Earlier in the day, Jaitely, commenting on Supreme Court's observation on Sinha, said governments should be extremely careful while making appointments to such high posts.
"I have been looking at the law that applies, whether it's a gap in the law or otherwise. One has to seriously examine who has the power to do that. Because now the new appointing authority is a collegium, I think governments have to be extremely careful when they make appointments for this purpose," he said.
Recalling the events leading to appointment of Sinha in 2012, Jaitley said the CBI Director was appointed by the previous UPA government just a day before a Parliament select committee report on Lok Pal Bill that provided for the procedure of such appointment was to be tabled in Rajya Sabha.
"At 11 am that report was to be tabled and this appointment was made the previous evening at 9 pm. The next day Sushma Sushma Swaraj and I wrote to the Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) that on what criteria have you done this...," he said.