On 25 May, arguing for the Central Bureau of Investigation against the acquittal of the former telecom minister A Raja in the 2G scam case. Tushar Mehta described the case as a “monument of corruption in the history of India and a national shame.” Mehta made no mention of the fact that the CBI trial court judge who pronounced the judgment acquitting Raja had notedthat he waited “in vain” for seven years for legally admissible evidence in the case, which concerned the allegedly illegal allocation of the 2G spectrum. Mehta also did not mention that information already present before the Supreme Court in the coal-scam case suggests a clear need to reexamine the CBI’s investigation of the 2G case that took place during the tenure of its former director Ranjit Sinha—from 3 December 2012 to 2 December 2014.
In 2015, the Supreme Court appointed a committee headed by ML Sharma, a former special director of the CBI, to examine Sinha’s meetings during his tenure as CBI head with those accused in cases related to the coal scam—including Congress politicians Vijay Darda and Santosh Bagrodia—and whether these interactions had impacted the ongoing CBI inquiries and subsequent chargesheets or closure reports in any cases. We reported earlier that the committee’s findings directly indicted Sinha—it concluded that some of these meetings influenced the CBI’s investigations and conclusions in several cases. The committee based its findings on the visitor registers from Sinha’s residence, which covered a period of 15 months during his tenure, and its subsequent inquiry into the individuals listed in the logs, as well as the cases with which they were associated
It is learnt that not only did the Sharma Committee conclude that these meetings influenced the coal-scam cases, it also raised serious questions about the impact of numerous other meetings, between Ranjit Sinha and senior figures from several industrial houses. In fact, it is only the failure of the CBI to fully cooperate with the committee that has ensured that corporate players have so far remained shielded from legal action.