The Supreme Court on Friday asked senior advocate R S Cheema to continue as special public prosecutor to conduct trials for the Enforcement Directorate as well in money laundering cases related to the coal block scam.
The top court had been undertaking the exercise to find a replacement of Cheema as SPP for ED cases after he had urged that he be relieved as the prosecutor in money laundering cases.
Cheema, who was appointed the special public prosecutor (SPP) in coal block scam cases in 2014, however, had said that he would continue as the SPP for prosecuting coal scam cases filed by the CBI.
"On our request R S Cheema, senior counsel/Special Public Prosecutor has agreed to continue as a Special Public Prosecutor to conduct prosecution of the money laundering cases under the Prevention of Money laundering Act, 2002 pertaining to the coal block allocation matters till June 30," ordered the bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant.
The bench has now listed the plea of Cheema, who wanted to be relieved as the prosecutor in money laundering cases, for hearing in the first week of May.
Earlier, the apex court had given the Centre time till February 10 to suggest names of lawyers for appointing as the SPP to conduct trials for the ED in money laundering cases related to the coal block scam.
The bench was not in agreement with the suggestion of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, that former Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh be appointed the special prosecutor to conduct trial in ED cases pertaining to coal scam cases.
Cheema had said that he would like to continue as CBI's special prosecutor in the coal scam cases, but would not want to be the SPP in money laundering matters as there was shortage of law officers assisting him in such cases.
The SC had earlier sought to know from the CBI and the ED the status of investigation and trial in the coal block allocation scam cases probed by the two agencies.
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