Madras High Court has directed the CB-CID to probe the matter related to the missing 100 kg gold which was in the custody of Central Bureau of Investigation. The seized yellow metal quantity was 400.47 kg while it was observed to be only 296 kg at the time of hand over.
In 2019, National Company Law Tribunal has ordered CBI to hand over the gold bullion to the liquidator after criminal case was withdrawn. The order was issued in order to distribute it among the banks that lent money to the company.
As per the liquidator for Surana Corporation Limited, CBI had seized 400.47 kgs of gold during the investigation against officials of Minerals & Metals Trading Corporation of India and Surana Corporation Limited. There were allegations that MMTC had shown undue favour to the Surana.
The court has wondered why the CBI should not be booked for theft. “The difference is not a few grams, it’s a whopping 1 lakh grams,” the court said.
Special Public Prosecutor of CBI submitted that the matter is being inquired by an internal team and under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, CBI is not authorized to register a theft case.
CBI has sought directions to allow it to register a theft case and proceed with the inquiry. The investigation agency also submitted before the court that the prestige of CBI would come down if the investigation is done by local police.
“This Court cannot subscribe to this view, because, the law does not sanction such an inference. All policemen have to be trusted and it does not lie in the mouth of one to say that the CBI have special horns, whereas, the local police have only a tail. It may be an agni pariksha for the CBI, but, that cannot be helped. If their hands are clean like Sita, they may come out brighter, if not, they would have to face the music,” observed Justice T N Prakash.