GUWAHATI, Sept 2 - The Gauhati High Court has directed the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate the high-profile Louis Berger bribery case.
The court, in its order on Friday, directed the CBI to take over the investigation of the case from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and bring the investigation to its logical conclusion.
�The case diary shall be submitted by the CID in a sealed cover to the custody of the Registrar General of the Gauhati High Court who shall hand over the same, after completing necessary formalities, to the CBI,� the court ruled while directing the State government and its police to cooperate fully with the CBI in the investigation.
Earlier, the court expressed apprehension that as the CID is under the State government and since high ranking officials are involved in awarding the contract after taking huge amount of bribe, the investigating agency may not be in a position to act independently to bring the investigation to a fair and logical conclusion.
Under Article 226 of the Constitution, the High Court has the power to direct an investigation by the CBI, but the power can be exercised only in cases where there is sufficient material to come to the prime facie conclusion that there is a need of such an investigation.
The CID had registered a case (41/15) in the year 2015 following a complaint from one Bhaben Handique and two others. This came after American company Louis Berger pleaded guilty before a New Jersey court of paying bribes in Assam and Goa to obtain contracts as consultants of water supply projects.