CBI opposes SC proposal to appoint amicus curiae in coal scam

Written By kom nampultig on Selasa, 26 November 2013 | 07.20

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court's proposal to appoint an eminent lawyer as amicus curiae to assist it in going through CBI's voluminous probe report to brief it on loopholes in the ongoing investigation in coalgate was on Tuesday strongly opposed by the agency saying that its independence will be compromised.

At the outset of the proceedings, senior advocate Amrendra Sharan, appearing for the agency, strongly opposed the suggestion of a apex court bench headed by Justice R M Lodha to appoint amicus, saying it is not acceptable as it would amount to supervising the probe.

"It is bound to interfere in the ongoing probe. It would compromise the independence of the institution if the probe report would be shared with the amicus. The report is meant for the court and no other person be allowed to go through it," he said, adding, "amicus curiae is not acceptable to me".

The bench, also comprising justices Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, said there is no question on supervising the probe and it is just monitoring the investigation.

The bench expressed surprise on why the CBI is so adamant against appointment of amicus saying "it is difficult to understand how it (appointment of amicus) would prejudice or harm the probe".

"If the court is benefited by an objective view of amicus other than you(CBI) then what is the problem," the bench said, noting "You are not appreciating the difficulty faced by us in going through the report and amicus may tell us what has been missed by you."

The bench said that it is not supposed to just go through the report without commenting on it.

The bench on the last hearing had said that it needed assistance to analyse CBI's voluminous coalgate probe reports and suggested appointment of amicus curiae to lend a helping hand to it and had proposed the name of senior advocate T R Andhyarujina.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for one of the petitioners on whose plea the apex court monitoring the probe, also raised objection saying that Andhyarujina had earlier represented the Centre and some mines companies.

The bench after hearing all the sides refrained from passing any order and said the issue would be considered later.

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