New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on a plea by Buta Singh, chairperson of the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes, who had been summoned by the agency in connection with a graft case against his son.
Justice Geeta Mittal issued notice to the CBI, asking whether the agency had taken prior permission from the government for summoning the former union minister. The court asked the CBI to reply by Aug 31 when Buta Singh has been asked to appear before the CBI.
Senior advocate K.T.S. Tulsi, appearing on behalf of Buta Singh, contended: “I have been issued three summons to appear before the agency without taking mandatory sanction from the centre. I hold a cabinet rank post and the agency cannot summon me without taking permission from the government.”
Tulsi added: “Issuing notice by CBI is violative of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, which says that government sanction is required to interrogate a public servant above the rank of deputy secretary.”
Advocate Harish Gulati, appearing for the CBI, accepted the notice and said he would take instructions from the agency on whether permission was taken or not before summoning Singh.
The CBI had Monday issued the notice to Buta Singh to appear before it as a witness in the case of alleged bribery registered against his son Sarabjot alias Sweety Singh.
In his plea, Buta Singh had sought the quashing of the CBI notice. He contended that he held a constitutional post and the investigating agency had not sought permission before issuing him the notice.
On July 30, Sweety Singh was caught allegedly taking a bribe of Rs.1 crore (Rs.10 million) from Nashik-based contractor Ramraj Patil, in return for facilitating the withdrawal of a case of atrocities against Scheduled Castes filed against Patil. He was taken to Mumbai the same night and subsequently arrested. He was later freed on bail.