After the strong whip cracked by Supreme Court on Congress-led UPA regime, there remains no doubt that the government is itself behind all the scams that the nation witnessed in nine years, since the day the UPA I & II took over. The Court verified the fact that the CBI was brazenly misused by this callous regime to silence its opponents, garner undue political gains and to shield the corrupt. But what is more shameful and brazen is that instead of taking exemplary action against the corrupt ministers and officials, the government is protecting them.
The Court has asked the Centre to make CBI free from all kinds of political interference before July 10, but people have serious doubt over it. Even the Attorney General GE Vahanvati made the Government’s intention clear in the court itself when he said ‘giving full independence will result in the CBI becoming an unruly horse’. It means the regime intentionally wants to keep the country’s premier investigative agency ‘a caged parrot’. The silence within the regime over this issue even after three days of the Court directives also tells the same story.
Political analysts feel that the court’s rap is the right ‘gift’ that the blatant UPA deserves on its fourth anniversary. After this episode there remains no excuse for the Prime Minister and his Law Minister to remain in power even for a single moment. The entire episode also proves beyond any doubt that the CBI status report was vetted just to save the Prime Minister. The CBI is probing the coal blocks allocations from 2006 to 2009 during which the Coal Ministry was with the Prime Minister. Now the Supreme Court has caught the Government red handed trying to cover up the scam and misleading as well as cheating the nation. The multi-crore coal scam cost the nation, according to CAG’s final report tabled in Parliament, Rs 1.86 crore. It is the amount which is far bigger than the amount involved in dozens of big scams unearthed during the UPA regime.
The Court clearly said the ‘heart of the draft report was changed’. The court’s observations sum up the way the CBI has been conducting itself in probing the coal scam. Till now 11 FIRs have been filed in this case, but the investigation is not complete even in any of these. Hence, no chargesheet has been filed against anyone so far. Therefore, what wrong the Supreme Court said when it commented that the ‘probe agency had become a puppet in the hand of its bosses’.
The Court asked the Centre to place a concrete proposal for ensuring the CBI’s independence and to insulate it from external influence, before any such exercise is undertaken by it. “We would like the law to be in place before the next date of hearing on July 10. We know that Parliament will not be in session, but there are ways to do it,” the bench said adding that the CBI has to be “non-partisan” by law and an impartial agency. In the event no such law is proposed by the Centre, the bench warned: “We may have to undertake a similar exercise as we did in the Vineet Narain case. In light of the events which have happened, this exercise has become imminent.”
While being open to the suggestion of constituting a Special Investigation Team, the Court gave a final chance to test the CBI’s integrity, asking it to file a further status report by July 8. Taking tough stand the Court also brought back the previous supervising officer of the coal scam investigation DIG Ravikant Misra, as part of the 33-member strong CBI team in coalgate, directing that no outsider will have access to the team while denying any Minister, Government official, law officer of the CBI, Government law officers, Director of Prosecution or anybody outside the team, except the CBI Director, to have access to probe reports.
The Congress was aware of the adverse things to come. That is why it tried to divert the attention from the coal scam issue by dramatically tabling the Food Security Bill in Parliament on May 6. The way Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was seen on television sets dictating the Chair for tabling the Bill also raised many questions. When it failed to divert the attention through the Food Security Bill it again attempted to downplay the coal scam issue by raising the Congress victory in Karnataka, which is basically not the Congress win but the defeat of the BJP’s infighting. If the BJP would have fought unitedly, the power of Karnataka for the Congress would have been a day dream for more years.
There is no doubt that the Congress has seen the writings on the wall. It has realised that it has very limited time. Therefore, it wants to do whatever it wishes. The dramatic presentation of the Food Security Bill in the House at the time when the presence of MPs there was very thin, shows that the Government has thought that it may get no more change to table the Bill, to which it sees a game changer in coming general elections. The good thing is that the Opposition is united against the Government. This unity should continue till the nation is rid of the most corrupt regime since Independence.
Nothing less than PM and Law Minister’s resignations is accepted: BJP
The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made it clear that it will accept nothing less than the resignation of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Law Minister Ashwani Kumar. Talking to Organiser BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said the Supreme Court’s observations that the heart of the status report was changed vindicates the BJP’s charge that the UPA government has been misusing the CBI. “It is also using CBI to harass political opponents. This government is surviving due to CBI only,” he said. He said after the CBI Director’s affidavit in the court and Attorney General’s submission, it has been proved beyond doubt that the Centre tried to interfere at every stage of the probe in coal scam.
Bansal, guilty of selling jobs, quits
The case of former Railway Minister Pawan Bansal, who quit on May 10, was crystal clear and he was guilty of selling jobs. The way senior jobs in the government such as the Member of the Railways Board were sold at exorbitant prices, the governance itself was getting debased. The significant aspect of this case was that the decision to promote prime accused Mahesh Kumar was taken by the then Railway Minister himself. The actions of the Railway Minister in making appointment of Mahesh Kumar were in rhythm with the CBI’s allegation that his nephew was promising the posting for a consideration. The middle men were no rank strangers. Vijay Singla is the alter ego of Pawan Bansal. They have intrinsic political links and are involved in an apparent web of commercial and business dealings. The perusal of the recorded telephonic conversation would show whether Vijay Singla and Sandeep Goyal were taking money on their own behalf or promising to get the work done through the Railway Minister. All these telephonic conversations are admissible evidences against the Railway Minister under Section 10 of the Evidence Act.