Yesterday, a statement of the CBI Director, Shri Ranjit Sinha was published in the Economic Times . The truth had slipped out. He said that the UPA would have been happier if Amit Shah had been charge-sheeted in the Ishrat Jehan case. He further went on to add that the CBI found no evidence against Amit Shah. Since the statement was expected to attract a lot of adverse comments against the Government, the CBI Director issued an unconvincing clarification the he had been misquoted. Independent of the CBI Director’s statement and the clarification, as the tenure of the UPA draws to a close, it may be helpful if the process of manipulation of the CBI is seriously examined.
Using Police and investigating agencies to fabricate cases is nothing unusual. During the Emergency almost two lakh FIRs were concocted against political activists. Those in preventive detention were detained under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) and the others under the Defence of India Rules which were applicable during the proclamation of Emergency. Most FIRs registered by the Police were somewhat similar. The opposition political workers were accused of delivering a speech at the Milk booths or a Bus stop in the early hours of morning as to how the Congress Government should be overthrown. These were no grounds of detention. Regrettably not a single police officer stood up and revolted by asserting that he would not lodge a false FIR or implicate an innocent man in it. They all colluded in contributing to the tyranny of the Emergency.
The UPA during the period 2004-2014 mastered the art of manipulating the CBI. The CBI during this period was not controlled by the Government. Worse still, it was controlled by the ruling party. A pliable person was selected to become Director of the CBI. The CBI as an organization is driven by the Director. He has the last word. Investigating officers prepared the investigation file with the idea of inculpating or exculpating a particular person. The internal checks and balances had completely collapsed. The Directors were offered fresh jobs on the eve of retirement. A post-retirement job would be suggested to them. This would contribute to their pliability. Factually, the Directors were offered post-retirement jobs ranging from Governorship to the membership of the UPSC. A Special Director who retired recently and took a special interest in wanting to implicate Amit Shah in the Ishrat Jehan case was appointed the Vice Chancellor of the Jamia Millia Islamia even prior to his retirement. Newspaper reports have indicated that he has also been short-listed for the appointment of a Vigilance Commissioner in the CVC.
In a detailed letter that I had written to the Prime Minister recently I had mentioned exhaustive reasons of how senior BJP leaders like Amit Shah, Gulab Chand Kataria and Rajender Rathore were falsely implicated by the CBI. In Amit Shah’s case the High Court while granting him bail observed that there was no prima facie case against him. The case against Gulab Chand Kataria was so palpably fake that the Special Judge granted him anticipatory bail. In Rajender Rathore’s case the Special Judge discharged him at the stage of framing of the charge itself. Conversely, the UPA was kept in power as a minority government with the outside support of the Samajwadi Party and the BSP. In both cases it was the cooperation of the CBI that was instrumental in manipulating the support of these two parties. Their top leaders were charged for possession of disproportionate assets.
The denial of the CBI Director that he made the statement which the Economic Times published is immaterial. There is voluminous evidence available with regard to the pliability of the CBI even independent of his retracted statement.