The episode unfolded last week before a Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya when Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra handed over a one-page affidavit by Singh as per the court’s previous order.
The Bench had asked Singh to file an affidavit indicating therein the outer time limit within which all vacant posts in the CBI could be filled up. The affidavit caught attention for its irregularities, besides its inadequacy to put forth a reply on a deadline to fill up the vacant posts. The Bench said that they were not satisfied with the content. They noticed another anomaly at the bottom of the document.
The ASG and a CBI administrative officer were asked as to when this affidavit was prepared. They responded that it was prepared on the same day. “If it was prepared today, how does it bear the date of a day before?” questioned the Bench. The ASG sought to immediately withdraw the affidavit, but his request was turned down.
“We could have allowed you to do so but the issue is that it could have been done at the behest of the Home Secretary. He must have had sent someone for attestation... we might suspend the licence of the Notary... but that will be only a small fry... issue is we have discovered such a system,” observed the Bench, saying the affidavit was not even properly drafted.
The Bench remarked that the casualness with which an officer of Singh’s rank filed the affidavit had left it “most unhappy”.
The court wrote in its order that the Notary had attested the affidavit of Singh on October 18 by putting the date as October 17. “Let Shri Rajendra Kumar, Notary, Delhi, Registration No 5780, Government of India, appear in person on the next date of hearing and show cause as to why a direction may not be issued for suspension and cancellation of his licence for having verified the affidavit of Shri R K Singh today the 18.10.2012 by putting the date as 17.10.2012 and that too in the absence of the deponent,” stated the order.
While giving the ASG two weeks’ time to file a detailed affidavit on recruitment of officers in the CBI and providing better infrastructure to the agency and special CBI courts, the Bench told him to remind the officer not to take the proceedings lightly.