The CBI has got its reputation in mud again.
About 100 kg of gold from the seized gold of 400.47 Kg, that it put in the vaults of a company called Surana Corporation, in the presence of bank officials and liquidator of the company, had miraculously disappeared.
When the issue landed in the Madras HC, the CBI's request for a probe in the matter by the CBI branch of any neighbouring state or NIA was turned down. Instead, the HC directed the state Crime Branch to investigate the murky episode.
According to the case history, the CBI had seized 400.47 kgs. of gold while investigating into the nexus between officials of Minerals & Metals Trading Corporation of India and of Surana Corporation Limited after serious allegations were made that the public sector company had shown undue favor to Surana, who imported gold and silver.
Finally, when the NCLT directed the CBI to return the gold to the liquidator (as criminal cases were withdrawn), the gold returned by the agency was 103.864 KG lower than the deposited quantity. This forced the liquidator to seek a judicial remedy and thus the matter went to the HC.
(By M K Shukla & Rakesh Ranjan)