Coal block scam
THE Congress party has now turned the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI into Congress bureau of Intimidation. The Congress has been using the premier investigating agency of the country for settling petty scores and if sources are to be belived it’s even trying to scuttle the independent investigations the agency is conducting in several issues, the latest being one of the most corrupt deals the country has ever seen, the 1.87 lakh crore coal block allotment deal.
The recent overtures conducted by the Union Law minister Ashwani Kumar by calling up the CBI top brass for a discussion regarding the coal block allotment case , is a clear indicator as to how the Congress treats the premier investigative agency of the country.
Sources however told Organiser that the CBI is reportedly in favour of informing the Supreme Court that the probe status report on the allocation of coal blocks which it had submitted was vetted by the executive including the Union law minister Ashwani Kumar and officials in the PMO.
A senior official of the premier agency has already informed media persons that the agency had tried to resist but indeed some toning down has been done on its report regarding the coal block allotment , following the meeting. This is a major embarassment for the UPA government.
This indicates how a section of the officers of the investigative agency wants to move out of the shackles of the government and how the UPA government is bent on arm-twisting the agency for its own benefit.
The Indian Express had brought out a story regarding the meeting conducted by the Union law minister with the CBI top brass including its director Ranjith Sinha .With the Supreme Court in for giving a verdict on April 30th regarding the coal block allotment case, there is significance in the recent overtures conducted by Ashwani Kumar to the CBI top brass .
The opposition BJP has already come out against the government on the issue and the leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley has vehemently criticised the government on the same . Shri Jaitley has slammed the ruling dispensation and has stated that the CBI is being used as a tool by the Congress to serve self interests .He also pointed out that the CBI cannot find out the truth and even if some officials in the CBI tries to find out the truth the UPA is a rogue government which will not allow the truth to come out and action of the Union law minister is a clear indicator as to where things are headed to.
Citing the Vineet Narain case in which the Apex Court had emphasised on the autonomy and independence of CBI, Jaitley said the Supreme Court categorically had said, quoting from an English legal principle, that no minister can interfere and tell CBI what to do and not to do . Jaitley further said “This is now completely violated”.
Moreover the CBI director Ranjit Sinha ,according to sources has already entered into all the books regarding the meeting with the Minister and his cabinet colleagues and there are also indications that the agency has informed the Supreme Court on the overtures conducted by the government top brass ,both the Union law minister and his officials and the officials in the Prime Minister’s office .Also the CBI director was not alone in the meeting with the minister and his law ministry colleagues ,instead a battery of top CBI officials also accompanied Sinha .
This shows that the CBI director was taking his precautions as the Congress party has a habit of trying to arm-twist the premier investigating agency . The Law minister has not denied his meeting with the CBI officials including Ranjith Sinha but this is proving costly to the Congress party as the minister of state in the Prime Minister’s office V. Narayanaswamy is the minister in charge of the personnel ministry under which the CBI comes while Ashwani Kumar being the Union minister for law does not have any direct interaction with the CBI. This shows that the Congress minister’s has scant regard for the top agency and wants the agency to dance according to its tune.
Another interesting point is that when the coal block allotment case had come for hearing before the Supreme Court on March 22nd ,the bench headed by Justice R.N. Lodha and comprising of Justices J. Chellameswar and Madan B .Lokur pointed out that the report presented by the CBI has shown several irregularities in the allocation of the coal blocks. The Attorney General G.N. Vahvanti retorted by stating that the CBI is not the final word. The bench also gave a reminder to the government based on the report provided by the CBI as to how some companies were picked and chosen for the coal block allocation and as to how such a practise has evolved.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by various members of civil society including former CEC N Gopalaswami, ex-Navy chief L Ramdas and former Cabinet Secretary T S R Subramanian and advocate M L Sharma seeking a SIT probe into the coal block allocation scam.
The CBI director has told press ,when asked whether the executive has overseen or diluted its report on the Coal block allotment , that the CBI is yet to submit the affidavit and that whatever he has to inform he will inform the Supreme Court . The CBI director also said that he will present the affidavit on April 26th .
The coal gate scam which has been lying dormant for a while has now gained momentum after the report in The Indian Express and followed by the media that the Law minister Ashwani Kumar had called upon the CBI officials for a meeting with him and the law ministry officials.The Minister of state in the Prime Minister’s office V. Narayanaswamy who is in charge of the CBI said that it is for Ashwani Kumar to answer .
The direct involvment of the UPA minister’s ,specifically Congress minister’s in the day to day activities of a premier investigating agency like the CBI has created confusion among the top brass of the CBI. It seems that the Congress party is using the CBI as a tool to serve its own self interests as also to settle scores with the opposition members.
The recent raids conducted by the CBI on the residences of the DMK leader M.K. Stalin in a case related to the import of a foreign car , the day after the DMK served ties with the Congress and the UPA ,is a clear pointer as to how deeply the Congress party is involving in the day to day affairs of the CBI. If one goes through the present political situation of the country there are ample instances of the CBI being misused by the Congress party and the present regime. Another classic example is of Jagmohan Reddy who is now facing trial in several cases. It may be recalled that when Jagan was in the Congress and when his father Y.S. Rajashekhar Reddy was the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh ,there has not been any issue against Jaganmohan Reddy. This also shows how the Congress can use the CBI for its own activities and to settle political scores.
With the Prime Minister’s office on the dock and the Law minister Ashwani Kumar also in a corner, it seems that the Congress and the UPA is finally seeing dark clouds over the horizon and the party will find it tough to survive in an atmosphere charged up against the misdeeds of the Congress party.