There it comes from the horse’s mouth himself. In a shocking confession to the apex court’s derisive remark, CBI director Ranjit Sinha said ‘whatever the Supreme Court has said is correct’, the Supreme Court on 6th May, while examining the affidavit submitted by the premier investigating agency of the country on coal scam, had mentioned that the Central Bureau of Investigation ‘has become a caged parrot speaking its master’s voice’.
But the callous observations of the highest court of the land, against government officials for vetting the draft status report and suggesting changes in it and against CBI for not following the court’s direction and sharing the report with the political functionary and changing the ‘heart’ of the report at the behest of its political masters, made no difference to the susceptibility of the political executive to use CBI as its handmaiden.
Quite often these days, it is said that the people at the Centre use, abuse and misuse CBI to push away their opponents for their benefit. Well fortunately (for the people of the country) or unfortunately (for the ones who tried protecting the ‘political masters’ but got exposed!!), we did get a true picture of the massive corruption our leaders are involved in and how power and the institution is being used to cover it up!
At ‘Your’ Service
As a result of the growing relationship between the bureaucrats, government and CBI we have had several instances of travesty of justice by the CBI working under the UPA regime. The agency has had a record of restricted and politically friendly inquiries. It has now been caught red-handed working at the will of the politically powerful and saving them from being prosecuted. Because of the comfortable relationship that CBI shares with the authorities at the Centre, the Central Bureau of Investigation has had the privilege of acquiring new synonyms like the ‘Compromised Bureau of Investigation’ and the ‘Congress Bachao Institute’.
Regardless of the vastness of corruption that prominent Congress leader Late YSR Reddy was engaged in, the CBI looked the other way around, but when his son Jagan Mohan Reddy parted ways with Congress, CBI was put behind him.
Throwing some more light on this practice of the Congress, to use the CBI at its beck and call, few months ago Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav claimed that Congress led UPA government had put CBI behind him, despite the fact that he had saved UPA in times of crisis. This certainly is enough to substantiate the new names awarded to CBI.
To master this practice the Congress again treaded on the same line when DMK withdrew its support from UPA over the Sri Lankan Tamil issue. DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s son, M K Stalin’s residence was raided a day after the party withdrew its support.
The compromised position of the CBI got exposed when the “suspects” in the coal scam were given the license of making corrections in the status report. The Law Minister, Ashwini Kumar, whom the Congress defended by saying that he was making grammatical corrections to the CBI’s draft status report, thought that he was at liberty to make alterations to the basic substance of the report as he was a representative of the political sovereign. Confidence at its heights!
It is because of this closeness, that the CBI tried shielding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in spite of evidences of his having direct link in the coalgate scam. As expected, he was given a clean chit by the agency. But the fact still remains in the open that he was the coal minister when the coal block allocations were made and unquestionably the allocations could not have been made without his approval. The recent review of the draft status report by the Supreme Court not only makes the Prime Minister’s position untenable but also indefensible!
In a bid to get away from Opposition’s sharp attack the Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die. To save its own skin the government sacked both the Law Minister Ashwini Kumar and the Railway Minister Pawan Bansal over serious charges against them in coal scam and railway bribery scam respectively. With the Prime Minster asking for their resignation, it has also been exposed that the UPA has been using CBI to protect the head of the government and abusing and misusing the CBI for brazenly saving its ministers.
Rays Of Hope/Wings To Fly
Well, sparing a thought to the fate of the CBI director Ranjit Sinha, after his daring act of naming top government officials in the latest affidavit on the coal scam, submitted before the Supreme Court on 6th May 2013, am curious to know from where did this caged parrot get wings to initiate flying out of the cage, defying its master. This maybe a counter result of the Supreme Court’s observation lending a ray of hope to free the ‘caged parrot’.
The court had stated in its observation that there was an urgent need to liberate the CBI from its ‘many political masters’. It had also mentioned that it would ‘step in’ to give the agency its independence (much needed for an objective, fair & impartial probe). Consequently, the court had asked the Centre to consider making an effective legislation to shield CBI from “external influences and intrusion”.
Acting promptly on the court’s direction to provide for the independence of CBI and its functional autonomy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has approved the constitution of a Group of Minister headed by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram. The GoM consists of four other members, namely, Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde, Minister of Home Affairs, Shri Kapil Sibal, Minister of Communications and Information and Technology and Minister of Law and Justice, Shri Salman Khurshid, Minister of External affairs and Shri V Narayanasamy,Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Griveances and Pensions and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office.
The Final Call
Whether the CBI is caged or not and has it become the official savior of the people in power is now left to the wise of people of this country to decipher but what I know for sure is that truth however bitter and suppressed it may be has an inconvenient tendency of leaking out and this is exactly what happened.
Although initially (don’t know under what circumstances) CBI Director Ranjit Sinha had hidden facts from the judiciary and not investigated the coal scam with sincerity, but with the desperate support that he needed, he finally did came out with the truth that the draft status report was vetted by people at the Centre and changes were made at their command.
At last, Ranjit Sinha got his wings and the beauty of the flight that he has taken, is that it has landed the Congress perplexed, pressurized, attacked (by Opposition and media) and in a mess just before the 2014 General Elections!
Now it’s left to the citizens of the country to take a call on whether they want the UPA to have the same fate like the BJP in the recent Karnataka elections or whether they would like to see UPA-3 in formation at the Centre!
By: Mugdha Kapoor