New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has observed the sensitivity of the role assigned to investigative agencies and the need to avoid unsubstantiated remarks that could demoralise them.
Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma made this observation while expunging adverse and disparaging remarks made by a special judge in 2015 against the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and its officials while discharging former Telecom Secretary Shyamal Ghosh and three telecom firms in the 2002 additional spectrum allocation case.
“… function assigned to investigating agency is very sensitive in nature. It is also pertinent to note that the CBI is the premier investigating agency of this country and any observation or remarks which does not have substantive basis, demoralise the entire agency itself,” Justice Sharma observed.
The special judge had, in the discharge order issued on October 15, 2015, criticised the CBI chargesheet, describing it as full of distorted and fabricated facts.
The judge directed the then Director of the CBI to conduct an inquiry against the officials responsible and take appropriate action against them as per the law.
The CBI challenged this order, arguing that it had not been given an opportunity to be heard. The request to expunge the judicial remarks was not opposed by the discharged accused.
Justice Sharma noted that the CBI officers were not given an opportunity to defend themselves before these adverse remarks were made.
He stated that any prejudice caused to individuals without giving them an opportunity to defend themselves, especially when the reasons for such remarks lack substantive and cogent evidence, cannot be upheld in the eyes of the law.