A letter has been sent to the CBDT Chairman by Justice AP Shah, on behalf of the Citizens’ Whistleblowers Forum (CWF), seeking investigation into the Sahara-Birla payoff papers. The forum also asked the CBDT to challenge the order passed by the Settlement Commission granting immunity to Sahara.
Justice Shah is the CWF Chairperson. Other founder members of CWF are Justice Santosh Hegde (former SC judge), Admiral Ramdas (former Chief of Naval Staff), Wajahat Habibullah (first CIC), EAS Sarma (former GoI secretary), Aruna Roy (social activist), Jagdeep Chhokar (Association for Democratic Reforms and former Prof IIM Ahmedabad), and Prashant Bhushan (advocate, SC).
“The documents recovered in the raids on Sahara and Birla Groups ought to be immediately forwarded to the CBI for a thorough criminal investigation since they reveal bribery of the politicians and civil servants by these two groups,” the letter said.
The letter stated that the circumstances make out a more than adequate case for directing a credible and independent investigation as per the law laid down by the Constitution Bench in Lalita Kumari case.
Activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan had already approached the Supreme Court seeking CBI investigation into the matter. He filed 10 additional documents in the case, as the Bench headed by Chief Justice Khehar sought additional evidence to order probe in the case.
The Income Tax Settlement Commission (ITSC), by its order dated 10th November, 2016, had granted Sahara India immunity from prosecution and penalty following raids conducted on November 2014, during which “diaries” listing alleged pay-offs to politicians were recovered.
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