CBI to probe Sadiq Batcha’s alleged suicide


New Delhi : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will probe the death of Sadiq Batcha – an associate of former communications minister A. Raja and an alleged accomplice in the 2G spectrum scam.

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Batcha was close to Raja and the managing director of Greenhouse Promoters, considered to be a front organisation of the former minister.

Appearing for the CBI, senior counsel K.K. Venugopal Friday told the Supreme Court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly that the Tamil Nadu government has conveyed its decision to hand over the probe to the CBI and that the investigating agency has indicated its willingness to take up the job.

The senior counsel, however, told the court that CBI would take over the probe only after the central government issues the notification to the effect.

As Venugopal said this, Justice Ganguly asked him if the court could record his statement.

The court asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Indira Jaisingh to find out from the government how much time it would require for issuing the notification. The ASG was asked to inform the court by Monday about the government’s time schedule for issuing the notification.

The court’s direction to ASG Jaisingh came in the wake of an application by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) for the court’s direction for a CBI probe into Batcha’s death. He was alleged to have committed suicide by hanging himself.

Appearing for the CPIL, senior counsel Prashant Bhushan told the court that investigation into the alleged suicide by Batcha should have been entrusted to the CBI and even the autopsy should have been carried out under the aegis of the investigating agency.

The court told Bhushan that his initial information that the Tamil Nadu government was inclined to hand over the probe to CBI was correct.

It may be recalled that in the course of the hearing on 2G spectrum scam on March 17, Bhushan had moved an application for a CBI probe into Batcha’s alleged suicide.

However, he did not press his application as he said the Tamil Nadu government was itself considering handing over the probe to CBI.