After humiliating Amit Shah, conspiracy hatched to frame Rajasthan senior BJP leader Gulab Chand Kataria in fake charges ahead of Assembly polls
Even after receiving repeated slaps from Supreme Court and also standing totally exposed on misuse of CBI, the Congress-led UPA Government seems to have taken no lesson. Instead of showing in deeds that it really wants to free the ‘parrot’ from the ‘cage’, the Congress misses no chance to misuse the country’s premier investigative agency for political gains. Its latest victim is senior BJP leader of Rajasthan Gulab Chand Kataria. The CBI, in a supplementary chargesheet, linked him with the Sohrabuddin encounter case. It is the same case in which former Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah was humiliated twice but both the times was proved innocent. The real target in this case has been Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, but the CBI and all its political masters failed to touch him.
The case against Kataria again proved that the CBI is no more a trusted investigative agency to carry out fair and free probe. It also indicates that there is deliberate attempt to misuse the agency against the political opponents. It was seen in the cases of Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party leaders. Now, ahead of the assembly polls in Rajasthan the same trick has been played through the supplementary chargesheet filed in in a number which Kataria has reportedly been charged of murder, destruction of evidence, abduction and criminal conspiracy among other serious IPC sections. The chargesheet terms him as a conspirator in the case. Earlier, the effort was made to implicate another senior party leader and former minister in Rajasthan Rajender Rathore in another case of alleged encounter. That also turned out to be a case of negligible or no evidence, and Rathore was granted bail. Shri Kataria is the second high profile political personality to be named in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.
Sohrabuddin Sheikh, a gangster, sought to expand his extortion racket to Rajasthan from Gujarat, where he was active. Sheikh made a demand of Rs 24 lakh (Rs 2.4 million) as protection money to Vimal Patni, director, RK Marbles, who was threatened with dire consequences if the money was not handed over. According to the investigation, Patni, who was fed up with Sheikh’s threats, met with Kataria, who he knew well, and sought the minister’s help. Kataria is alleged to have introduced Patni to Amit Shah, Gujarat’s then minister of state for home.
Shri Kataria denied all the allegations and said he is innocent. “I can give a proper response only after reading the proper details of the matter. But I can say that they will be unsuccessful in levelling false allegations against me. The truth will be known to people if not today, then tomorrow,” he said. Along with Shri Kataria, three others including two police officers from Andhra Pradesh and an Executive Director of the Marble Company have reportedly been chargesheeted.
The BJP in Delhi came out openly to defend its leader. The party lashed out at the CBI and questioned its investigations into the Sohrabuddin and Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter cases. The party said the allegations against Shri Kataria are politically motivated and the Congress is grossly misusing the CBI. “Charges against Gulab Chand Kataria are baseless and politically motivated. It’s a Congress conspiracy to frame top BJP leaders. We will continue to back our leaders,” party president Rajnath Singh declared in New Delhi on May 15.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said the CBI now cannot be trusted to carry out a fair probe. “We now know how the CBI operates after its true face came out in the Supreme Court. The former Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah was booked in 2010, we said charges were baseless. Amit Shah got bail even though it was a murder case, which is not a normal procedure. It was shoddy investigation. Now they are after Shri Kataria,” Shri Jaitley added.
Shri Jaitley said lies can have many versions, but the truth has just one. The case has now been changed – marble lobby is a new angle that has been added. We have no hope from the CBI, and its officials will make an unbiased investigation. Should the CBI be allowed to arrest someone because permission had not been granted earlier? They have dug up a 6-7 year old case and leaked information to newspapers. The nation needs to think about the questions raised about the CBI’s integrity and credibility. They can keep misusing the CBI but they will suffer in the elections, he added.
The CBI chargesheet came ahead of the assembly polls, as the Congress aims to create a negative picture of the top BJP leaders in the state. The move is also aimed at showing that not only the Congress but also the BJP leaders are equally corrupt and have criminal background.
A designated court in Mumbai issued summons to Kataria and three others to appear before it on June 4. The Supreme Court had last year transferred the trial of Sohrabuddin encounter case to Maharashtra from Gujarat as CBI said witnesses were being intimidated and the trial could not be held in a free and fair manner in Gujarat.
Six ministers resigned on corruption in UPA II
Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and Law Minister Ashwani Kumar were not the first from the UPA-II to have resigned on corruption charges. Prior to them four senior ministers and stepped down on corruption charges. The resignation of Suresh Kalmadi following CWG scam is another name from the Congress who had to resign on corruption charges.
First is DMK leader A Raja who had to go on 2G spectrum scam. He held the portfolio of communication and information technology. A CAG report said it cost the exchequer Rs. 1.76 lakh crore. He resigned November 14, 2010, and was arrested in February 2011.
Second is DMK leader Dayanidhi Maran who resigned as textile minister in July 2011 over allegations that as telecom minister, he arm-twisted the promoter of mobile service provider Aircel to sell out to Malaysian telecom firm Maxis.
Third is Congress leader Shashi Tharoor who got into trouble after the then IPL commissioner Lalit Modi alleged that Sunanda Pushkar, who is now Tharoor’s wife, had equity stakes in Rendezvous Sports World (RSW), heading the consortium that owns the Kochi team in Indian Premier League (IPL). He resigned from the post of minister of state for external affairs in April 2010, but was later taken back as Minister of State for Human Resource Development, a portfolio he presently holds.
The fourth was Congress leader Virbhadra Singh who resigned from the post of minister of small, micro and medium industries after a court in Himachal Pradesh framed corruption charges against him and his wife, Pratibha. They had been booked for alleged misuse of his official position and criminal misconduct when Virbhadra Singh was the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh in 1989. He is now chief minister of Himachal Pradesh.
Pawan Bansal is the fifth Minister who resigned on May 10 as Railway Minister over the charges of selling top posts in Railway Board. The sixth is Ashwani Kumar who resigned on May 10 itself as Union Law Minister following charges of vetting the CBI status report in coal scam.