The court made the observation when it was told that the role of the CVC was "limited" and it cannot give any specific direction or interfere with CBI inquiry or investigation in any manner.

"We find that except for getting reports and progress reports of investigation there is nothing in your (CVC) hand," a bench headed by justice RM Lodha said and added that "after investigation is done the report is submitted but the question is that the role of the CVC is just of a mute spectator".

"What purpose is then served by this," the bench, also comprising justices MB Lokur and Kurian Joseph, said.     

The remarks were made by bench when it was hearing the issue on scope of Section 8 of the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003, particularly clauses (a), (b) and (e) of Sub-Section (1)  and Section 4 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act 1946 by which the CBI is regulated.

These provisions of CVC Act deal with the issue of investigation.

The Apex Court, which is monitoring the investigation into the Coalgate, on February 10 had sought response of the CVC on its scope and power being the superintending authority over the functioning of the CBI.

Senior advocate Anil Divan, appearing for the CVC, gave the perception of the Commission on its scope and power and CBI's counsel Amarender Sharan said that investigating authority has to be independent and code of criminal procedure (CrPC) and CBI manual contemplates its superintendence.

"The role of CVC in matter of superintendence and review of progress of investigation under the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act with CBI is of an arm's length relationship without interfering with investigation in any particular case," Divan said.

"The CVC is not empowered to give any specific direction or to interfere in the inquiry or investigation in any manner in a particular case," he said.

However, advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for NGO Common Cause, said there is a need to give a "purposive" interpretation on the scope and power of the CVC otherwise "are we not making mockery of the CVC".


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