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Centre to seek apex court order on CBI probe

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI DEC. 2. The Government said today that it has decided to seek a directive from the Supreme Court as to whether the multi-crore stamp paper scam should be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Talking to reporters outside Parliament House, the Finance Minister, Jaswant Singh said: "We have decided to seek a directive from the Supreme Court whether the CBI should investigate the case."

When contacted, the CBI Director, P.C. Sharma, said the agency was ready to take up investigation of the scam.

To a query, he said there had neither been any specific request from any of the State Governments for a CBI probe in the case nor any direction from any High Court.

Mr. Sharma said the agency's stand had been clarified in an affidavit before the Bombay High Court which stated that the CBI would be ready to take up the probe should the State Government or the Court decide to give directions to this effect.

The CBI has also sought a clarification from the Allahabad High Court, which had referred a case of sale of fake stamp papers from Ghazipur to the Centre for a countrywide probe by the agency.

Sources said the agency was in the process of registering a case relating to the Ghazipur stamp paper scam and did not rule out the possibility of it being a spillover of the Telgi scam.

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