A special CBI court has called for response from the CBI on an application moved by former Orissa High Court judge IM Quddusi seeking monitoring of investigation of the case and an inquiry into the alleged leak/ theft of telephonic conversation between him, a middlemen and an official of Prasad Educational Trust, which is part of CBI probe into the sensational medical college bribery case.
Special CBI judge Manoj Jain directed the CBI to file its response by January 22 on Quddusi’s application in which he raised objection to the manner in which the tapped conversation as well as portions of CBI’s preliminary enquiry report have appeared in the media.
He said the transcripts have either been leaked by someone from CBI or they have been stolen, in which case it will amount to offence of criminal misconduct or theft and calls for an inquiry.
Quddusi raised apprehension of the matter becoming a “trial by media” while submitting that the possibility of tampering of the documents so leaked cannot be ruled out.
“…monitoring of the investigation is essential to find out as to whether the alleged conversations and P.E. Report has been leaked by someone within the CBI or they have been stolen, which is essential so as to ensure that it does not become a ‘Trial by Media’ and to ensure that administration of justice is not compromised by interference by third parties in the investigation of the matter. Further, the possibility of tampering of the documents leaked also cannot be ruled out, for which also inquiry is required to be conducted,” Quddusi said.
It is to be noted that the CBI registered an FIR on September 19, 2017, against Quddusi, and middlemen Biswanath Agarwala and BP Yadav of Prasad Educational Trust.
News reports over the past few days cited parts of the tapped conversation and the code word used therein purportedly for negotiating the matter concerning the medical college.
Quddusi cited reports of online news portal The Wire, saying it carried the conversation and the portion of CBI’s PE report.
Citing the decision of CBI court in CBI v SKS Ispat and Power Ltd, where the court had declined to direct the Investigating Officer to supply a copy of the PE report, the former judge said the PE report is a confidential document, which is not even supplied to the accused, however “in the present matter, the same has been in the hands of people outside the Investigating Agency, which gives rise to grave suspicion and apprehension of interference of third parties into the investigation of the present matter”.
He said though the CBI is outside the ambit of the RTI Act, without waiting for the orders of the court concerned, the documents are now in possession of outsiders.
Quddusi made the following prayers:
- Monitor the investigation and pass necessary orders thereby conducting an inquiry as to whether criminal misconduct has been committed by leaking of the documents, or whether theft has been committed by the documents having been stolen, which documents are confidential in nature, and as to who are the erring persons responsible for the same.
- Monitor the investigation and direct that an inquiry be conducted, whether any document/ conversations have been tampered with or not.