India

103 Kg gold amounting to more than 43 Crore disappears from CBI custody in Tamil Nadu, probe ordered

In a surprising turn of events, 103 kilogram gold amounting to more than Rs 43 crore, has disappeared from the CBI custody in Tamil Nadu state of India.

However, the Madras High Court has ordered the Tamil Nadu Police to probe the disappearance of the gold from the agency’s custody, rejecting its plea that “the prestige of the CBI would come down if investigation is done by the local police”, Indian Express reported.

Quoting the court verdict, the report said that CB-CID was asked to register an FIR. The court, according to the report, said: “It may be an agni pariksha (trial by fire) 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.”

On the CBI Special Public Prosecutor asking for a probe by the CBI or National Investigation Agency instead of the state police, the report quoted Judge P N Prakash saying: “The 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.”

In 2012, the CBI officials had seized the gold in connection with cases filed over allegations that officials of Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC) in Chennai had shown undue favours towards Surana Corporation Limited, which dealt in import of gold and silver.

As per the report, the gold, amounting to 400.47 kg, and in the form of bars and ornaments, was seized by the CBI from the office building of Surana in Chennai, and locked and sealed in the firm’s vaults.

Meanwhile, the Indian Express report said CBI claims to have submitted the keys of the vault to a Special CBI Court in Chennai, though no date regarding this is mentioned in documents.

 

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