- Apprentice Lawyer
The Delhi High Court has allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation to file a status report in relation to the investigation in the National Stock Exchange (NSE) co-location scam. (Shantanu Guha Ray vs UOI)
As per the order passed by a Division Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup J Bhambhani, the status report shall be submitted in a sealed cover in four weeks.
The Court was hearing a petition by journalist Shantanu Guha Ray who alleged that nothing "substantial" has happened in the matter in the last thirty months.
"Court may ask for a status report and see whether my allegations are covered in the investigation. My complaint is far wider.", Senior Advocate Gaurav Bhatia argued on behalf of Ray.
Ray added that in spite of an earlier order asking the investigating agency to provide information qua investigation, no much information was given to him.
"No chargsheet has been filed..We have not been given the status report.", Bhatia informed.
The petition also prayed for the registration of a fresh case based on the information provided by Ray if the same is not covered under the existing case.
In response to the petition, CBI counsel, Advocate Anil Grover informed that the investigation in the regular case registered in relation to the NSE co-location scam was ongoing.
He added that pursuant to the earlier order passed by the Court, a detailed questionnaire had already been supplied to Ray.
Gover stated that CBI could file a status report before the Court.
During the course of the hearing, the Court clarified that it was not going to conduct any roving and fishing enquiry.
The Court also remarked that it was "not inclined" to expand the scope of the existing case registered with the CBI.
"There is evidently a PE (Preliminary Enquiry) ..At the highest, we can ask for a report. There is no question of asking for a fresh PE.", the Court stated.
The Court added that even CBI's status report would not be shared with Ray.
"The status report is for the court to look at. Where is the question of sharing the report with you?", the Court said.
Accordingly, the Court passed an order recording that the investigating agency shall file a status report in a sealed cover for its perusal.
Notice to Central government and CBI was also issued in the petition.
Ray had filed a complaint with the CBI in August 2017, alleging that the co-location scam could not have happened without the active involvement of the Finance Ministry.
In his complaint to the CBI, Ray sought an investigation against Finance Ministry officials, including former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, and SEBI Officials.
His previous petition in relation to the scam was withdrawn after CBI filed a status report stating that the scope of the investigation was not limited to the names mentioned in its regular case and could be expanded to persons yet to be named.
The Court had then granted liberty to Ray to obtain the requisite information qua the investigation from the Investigating Officer.