Ready to probe Sadiq Batcha`s death: CBI tells SC

The CBI informed the Supreme Court that it is willing to take over the probe into the mysterious death of Sadiq Batcha.

Last Updated: Apr 01, 2011, 15:48 PM IST

New Delhi: The CBI on Friday informed the
Supreme Court that it is willing to take over the probe into
the mysterious death of Sadiq Batcha, a close aide of 2G
spectrum case accused and former telecom minister A Raja.

"The CBI has expressed its willingness to take over
the investigation into Batcha`s death," senior advocate K K
Venugopal, appearing for the agency, told a bench of justices
G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly. Earlier the Tamil Nadu Government
had favoured a CBI probe into Batcha`s death.

The bench asked Additional Solicitor General Indira
Jaising to take instructions from the Centre and inform it
about the issuance of a notification for transferring the
case to the CBI by April 4.

The CBI also informed the court that senior advocate U
U Lalit will be appointed as special public prosecutor for the
trial in the 2G spectrum allocation case before a special
court exclusively set up for the purpose.

The court asked the law officer to take instructions
and inform it by Tuesday on notification on appointment of the
special public prosecutor.

The apex court had earlier sought CBI`s response to a
plea for transferring to it the probe into Batcha`s death in
Chennai early last month.

The court had sought the agency`s reply on the plea by
NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) on whose
petition the court had ordered CBI to probe the 2G spectrum
allocation scam.

Batcha too had faced CBI interrogation four times
since December last year when the agency had conducted
searches at his official and residential premises.

38-year-old Batcha was found dead in mysterious
circumstances at his home in South Chennai on March 16 and his
wife had claimed that he committed suicide as he was "unable
to cope with the pressure" of the probe.

Batcha was the managing director of Greenhouse
Promoters, which the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate
suspected to be a front for Raja.

On the issue of appointment of Special Public
Prosecutor, the CBI on Tuesday had said it was facing
difficulty in finding a capable lawyer for the case as
corporates and their officers likely to be named in the case
have already hired the top lawyers to defend them.

However, Veugopal today told the bench that senior
advocate U U Lalit, who had earlier expressed his reluctance
to being appointed as Special Public Prosecutor, has agreed to
take up the job in "public interest".

Venugopal said CBI preferred Lalit for the job as he
has tremendous experience in the criminal law and is the most
appropriate person at the moment to head the team of
prosecutors in the case.

PTI