TWO senior IPS officers, one in service and the other recently retired, have accused the Central Bureau of Investigation of concocting evidence and putting pressure on senior police officers, including them, to give false evidence against other police officers and the former MoS for Home, Amit Shah. Further, CBI was spreading canards about them and their families through selective leaks to media. Sensational revelations made by these police officers and Amit Shah have opened a can of worms that has completely undermined the credibility of the Central Government and its investigation agency. CBI has been truly and totally exposed and nailed for its unethical conduct to please its political masters. There is little doubt in the minds of fair minded citizens that the real target of the Congress party is Narendra Modi. Their aim is to discredit Modi to undermine the stability of the democratically elected Government of Gujarat. Obviously, the dynasty is rattled by the popularity of Narendra Modi even outside his home state as was borne out by a national survey recently conducted by an English-language weekly that voted him the best Chief Minister in the country.
Rajkot Police Commissioner Geeta Johri in her curative petition in the Supreme Court alleged that ever since the CBI began its probe in the Sohrabuddin encounter case it had started exercising pressures on Gujarat police officers, including her, to either implicate political personalities or stand charged as accused in the killing of Sohrabuddin, his wife Kausar Bi and Tulsiram Prajapati, an accomplice of the gangster. The Police Commissioner who was questioned by the central investigating agency for “lapses” in her investigation, categorically denied the CBI claim that she had confessed to the CBI that she was under pressure from the Gujarat political leaders to be slack in her investigation. “I have done my best as a police officer to unravel the truth but the CBI had been spreading canards against me”, she asserted and maintained that the apex court’s adverse observations against her were made without hearing her and were based on incorrect and inadequate representation by the CBI. This, she pleaded, had exposed her to the serious risk of “threats and blackmail” by the CBI. Further, the CBI was trying to exert pressure on her to implicate political leaders like Amit Shah by exploiting her indictment by the Supreme Court.
Challenging the CBI theory that the third person accompanying Sohrabuddin and his wife was Prajapati and that he was eliminated because he was an eyewitness to the encounter death of the gangster, she pointed out that her investigation had showed that the third person was one Kalimuddin with whom Sohrabuddin had stayed in Hyderabad. Accusing Andhra police of stonewalling the investigation, she brought to the notice of the apex court that the Additional DIG, CBI, Balwinder Singh who was earlier Police Commissioner, Hyderabad, was now associated with the investigation of the case. She sought a directive from the court to recall its January 12 order that indicted her while handing over the probe to the CBI. Alternatively, the apex court expunge adverse observations against her and direct that Balwinder Singh be not associated with the investigations as he ought to be examined on the clandestine role of Andhra Police in the encounter case. The Police Commissioner also accused the CBI of selectively leaking to the media “malicious and concocted” reports about her impending arrest, change of her cadre and ridiculous attacks on her family in the Mafia style causing sustained damage to her constitutional rights and in-service immunity as a civil servant.
OP Mathur, who was the Chief of State CID (Crime) during the period Johri was investigating the encounter case on the directions of the Supreme Court, has complained in writing to the Chief Secretary, Home, that the CBI was putting pressure on him to depose against certain police officers and Shah. He was asked by CBI to give in writing that Shah had given him illegal directions/instructions but he declined to do so. Referring to certain arrests by CBI, Mathur expressed the apprehension that he too could be arrested by the CBI as he had declined to succumb to its pressure. He also blamed the CBI for selective leaks of interrogations of Gujarat police officers in order to put one officer against the other. These are serious charges that need to be addressed.
Amit Shah, who is in CBI custody, has done something unusual by alleging that the Supreme Court order of January 12, 2010 transferring the Sheikh encounter case to the CBI was the product of an “understanding between a judge, the Union Government and the CBI”. In his petition to the apex court settled by former Law Minister and senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, Shah demanded a recall of the January 12 order on the premise that the order was a product of a tripartite understanding and arrangement to the effect that the CBI investigation would be ordered by Justice Tarun Chatterjee, the lead judge on the bench that issued the impugned order, as desired by the Union Government; the latter would provide the judge with a post-retirement assignment and the CBI will refrain from charge sheeting the judge in the Gaziabad Provident Fund scam. Justice Chatterjee, he went on, delivered the said judgement two days before his retirement, won a reprieve when the CBI that later categorised the judge amongst those against whom it found no “prosecutable evidence”. This finding of the CBI, he maintained, was unknown to criminal law. The petitioner argued that Justice Chatterjee should have recused himself from the case that was bound to embarrass him. Justice Aftab Alam, the other judge on the bench, the petitioner said should too have offered to recuse if he did know about the pending case against his brother judge.
Mocking at the CBI claim of no “prosecutable evidence” against Justice Chatterjee, Shah contended that such a concession couldn’t be given once the judge was found guilty of serious acts of omissions and commissions. In support of his contention, the former Minister quoted from a CBI affidavit filed before another bench of the apex court that said “investigation was also conducted with regard to the allegations of receipt of valuables/services by several judges/judicial officers. However, for want of sufficient evidence, their names were not recommended for prosecution….A report has been sent to the competent authorities for appropriate action against them for various acts of “omissions and commissions” on the part of 24 judges/judicial officers”. As if this was not enough, Attorney General GE Vahanvati had commented in the apex court that sufficient evidence to prosecute 24 judicial officers was not there but findings against them were also of a “serious nature”. This list of 24 judicial officers, petitioner submitted, included Justice Chatterjee. Shah’s allegations against Justice Tarun Chatterjee have raised questions about the conduct of the judge. It is for the apex court to take a view about the veracity of the allegations made by Shah in his petition. The nation awaits with abated breath the outcome of these petitions.