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CBI Case: Did The Modi Govt Lie to The Supreme Court in Another Sealed Cover?

"The govt appears to have misled the court and perhaps submitted fabricated minutes of the HPC meeting," said Prashant Bhushan.

On Friday, February 1 the Supreme Court was hearing the challenge to the appointment of M Nageswara Rao as the interim director of the Central Bureau of investigation.

The plea, filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan’s NGO Common Cause and RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj, argues that Rao’s appointment, after Alok Verma’s ouster, is illegal since it wasn’t made by the high-power committee as mandated by the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.

During the hearing, Attorney General K. K. Venugopal reportedly told the court that the high-powered committee has already met once and the minutes of the meeting are available. The high-powered committee comprises of the Chief Justice of India (or his nominee), the Prime Minister of India and Leader of the Opposition, the latter in this case being leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge. 

“At the last meeting, a decision could not be taken as the Leader of the Opposition (Mallikarjun Kharge) Needed more details…”, said the AG, reported LiveLaw. 

Per the report, Soon after, the Modi government, through the AG, submitted a “sealed note” which the AG termed a “confidential document” and added “what they have done is clear”. 

However, advocate Prashant Bhushan, citing the said exchange commented that Kharge has said that no such meeting of the high-powered committee took place.

Bhushan then posted another tweet, saying that he has confirmed with Kharge that “no discussion or decision in HPC (high-powered committee) meet was taken re appt (appointment) of Nageswara Rao as interim Director CBI. The govt appears to have misled the court and perhaps submitted fabricated minutes of the HPC meeting!”

During the hearing of the Rafale issue, the government had submitted another sealed note, which had caused major controversy after the final judgement made factual errors citing the sealed note.  “The pricing details have, however, been shared with the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), and the report of the CAG has been examined by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Only a redacted portion of the report was placed before the Parliament and is in public domain,” the bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had observed, relying on the sealed note submitted by the government.

However, since then, even the CAG has admitted that no such report was submitted to the PAC or the Parliament.

Also Read: I Wouldn’t Have Resorted to Sealed-cover Procedure: Former SC Judge Chelameswar on Rafale Scam Verdict

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