"Prima facie the allegations made in the application(by NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation against Sinha of scuttling probe) are credible and required to be accepted," the court observed.

In an unprecedented order, it also handed over 2G cases to the senior-most officer after Sinha in the probe team.

A bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu, however, refused to pass an elaborate order on the issue saying that it would "tarnish" the "image and reputation" of the premier agency.

READ: 2G scam: Will abide by Supreme Court order, says CBI Director Ranjit Sinha

Even CBI counsel K K Venugopal took exception to Sinha taking the name of senior official as the mole leaking documents against him.

"You are not supposed to tarnish the image of a person at the instruction of your client. You are pinpointing towards a person. You are justified in saying that there was an insider but you should not have named the person," the bench told Sinha's counsel Vikas Singh who had named the officer.

The court also recalled its earlier order asking Prashant Bhushan to disclose the name of the whistleblower who had supplied file notings and guestlist register of Sinha's house.

At the end of another day of dramatic proceedings, the bench passed a brief order directing Sinha to keep himself away from the 2G case and asked him "not to interfere in the investigation and trial of the 2G cases and recuse himself from them".

"To protect the faith in the institution and reputation of Director, CBI, we are not focusing on elaborate reasons and it is suffice to say information furnished by applicants prima facie appears to be credible and therefore required to be accepted and let nobody say we have not given reasons" it

It said people from some quarters may say that reasons should be there in the order but "we are not giving elaborate reasons as CBI has reputation and it shall not be tarnished".

Pulling up CBI officials present in the court in support of Sinha, the Supreme Court upbraided one of them saying, "You are not an agent of the Director. You cannot be his mouthpiece. You do not need to take responsibility. How is your presence required here."

"Why so many CBI officers are here. How come so many officers sitting in the court room. We do not require their presence. We are not hearing 2G investigation case. We are hearing an application filed against the Director," it said while asking them to leave the court room and attend to their duty.

The fate of the top cop, who is due to retire on December 2, in the case became almost sealed when the bench, also comprising justices M B Lokur and A K Sikri, before rising for the lunch break, made it clear to Vikas Singh that it did not want to pass a detailed order which would tarnish the image of agency.

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