Dera Cases CBI wants more time
Tribune News Service
Taking the plea that it had to evaluate the evidence and material collected during the course of investigation into Dera Sacha Sauda-related cases, the CBI today sought more time from the Punjab and Haryana High Court to file the final report on the matter.
At this, the Division Bench, comprising Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice M.M.S. Bedi, expressed its displeasure over the tardy pace of probe and directed the agency to submit the final report, including the names of the persons to be charge-sheeted, by July 31.
Counsel for the CBI said the agency had completed field investigations and was in the final stages of the probe. As the matter was highly sensitive, the agency needed some more time to exactly pinpoint the main accused and properly evaluate the evidence.
He also took the alibi that the ongoing row between the dera and the Sikhs had hampered the agency’s investigations. Importantly, the CBI today submitted a status report, dubbed by its counsel as the ‘final field investigation report’, in a sealed cover, before the court.
Earlier, on April 16, 2007, the High Court had asked the CBI to complete the probe into the cases related to the Dera by May 25. The court had then castigated the agency for its laxity and observed that the bureau director should assign the job to competent and sincere officers. It had stressed that the matter had lingered on for five years and any more delay was not acceptable.
The probe relates to alleged sexual harassment case, journalist Ram Chander Chattarpati’s murder case and the Ranjit Singh murder case which were transferred to the CBI by the High Court.
Meanwhile, top CBI sources revealed that material collected from field investigations was being sifted through and final drafting was being done to nail the accused. They said in all likelihood, the final investigation report would be ready by the HC deadline. But they refused to comment if they would seek yet another extension if they failed to meet the deadline.