HE Supreme Court Monday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to first hold an inquiry, fix responsibility for the delay of 314 days in filing an appeal against a high court’s order, before requesting the court to admit its appeal.
Criticizing the CBI for being unable to offer a satisfactory explanation for the delay, a bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul remarked, “ We are dealing with a premier investigating agency, the CBI!”
To Additional Solicitor General RS Suri’s submission that a dismissal on limitation would amount to letting the person convicted by the trial court, though reversed by the high court to get away scot-free, the bench shot back and said, “If that be the position, first it is the CBI which has to show some seriousness in the matter of fixing responsibility on the persons responsible for the inordinate delay of 314 days in filing the SLP”.
The court adjourned the matter by two months within which CBI will have to hold an inquiry and fix responsibility on the officer concerned and apprise the court accordingly.
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The CBI approached the top court against a Delhi High Court order on May 31, 2019 acquitting one Rajvir Singh (a private builder) of charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The high court had also acquitted one CB Singh, a junior engineer who had allegedly abused his position as a public servant by facilitating Rajvir Singh to raise an unauthorised construction in the property under investigation and causing pecuniary advantage to him.
A trial court had sentenced them to rigorous imprisonment for three years with fine of ₹25,000/- each for offences under Sections 120B read with Section 13(2) read with Section 13(1) (d) of Prevention of Corruption Act. In addition, C.B.Singh had been further sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for two years with fine of ₹25,000/- for offences under Section 217 IPC and even further to rigorous imprisonment of three years with fine of ₹25,000/- for offences under Section 13(2) read with Section 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act.