Is CBI Central Bureau of Interrogation or Congress Bureau of Interrogation? I am sorry to say it, but it is looking more and more like the latter. Do you want more proof?
Well lets look into the case of CBI vs Mulayam Singh Yadav.
March 2007 – A case of disproportionate assets was registered against Mr Yadav on the directions of Supreme Court based on a PIL filed by a lawyer.
October 2007 – CBI reports that it has completed the preliminary investigation and has found “sufficient material” to implicate Mr Yadav.
July 22, 2008 – Mind you till now Mulayam Singh is against the UPA govt in the center. Now in the wake of the left front taking back its outside support to the government and the government moving into minority consequently, Mr Yadav decides to support the government from outside. So he is on the side of the government now.
November 8, 2008 – The law ministry sends a file to the solicitor general asking his opinion on the case. SG reports back telling that Mr Yadav has his assets within his income limit and the govt must consider withdrawing the case. Legally the Solicitor General doesn’t give legal advice to Govt of India. It is the attorney Generals work.
November 17, 2008 – The union law minster signed off on the case writing “I agree with the legal opinion of the learned Solicitor General. The Department of Personnel may withdraw the IA pending in the Supreme Court.” CBI decides to withdraw the case and this U-turn even surprises the apex court which asks CBI to explain its conduct.
February 2009 – The relation between SP and Congress starts to turn sour. There were comments made by Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav and some other SP leaders against congress leadership. Congress and SP goes into a war of words.
March 31, 2009 – This was the latest hearing of the case and in this CBI informs the supreme court that it still stands by the “recommendations” made in the status report filed in October 2007, implicating Mr Yadav.
So this was an amazing double U-turn by the premier investigating agency and surprisingly the implication and withdrawal of case was consistent with whether Mr Yadav was on the side of govt or against it.
It is also amusing that in July 2008, the CBI suddenly files an affidavit against Ms Mayawati, the arch-rival of Mulayam Singh, in a disproportionate assets case which was on the backburner for the past 5 years and says that it has enough evidence to prosecute Ms Mayawati.
And also now the case of withdrawing the case against Mr. Quattrocchi in the Bofors deal.
CBI in 1999 names Mr Q as the conduit in the case and includes his name in the chargesheet. It also manages to get a red corner notice against Mr Q.
In June 2003, Interpol finds two bank accounts in the name of Mr Q and Mrs Q, containing 3 million Euros and $ 1 millon and says that it is a “curiously large savings for a salaried executive”. The CBI gets the account frozen, so that the money cannot be withdrawn from it.
In January 2006, the central law ministry suddenly decides to defreeze the above mentioned accounts and on January 16th, the entire amount was withdrawn from the bank by Mr Q.
February 2007, Mr Q is held in Argentina based on the red corner notice by Interpol. CBI does not even inform this news to the public in India and only announces it after the report comes in the media regarding this in March 2007. CBI bungles in its efforts to get Mr Q extradited and loses its case to get him extradited in June 2007, with the judge remarking “India did not even present proper legal documents”. Embarrassingly, India was also asked to pay Q’s legal expenses.
Mr Q’s son who grew up with Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi visits India frequently, works in a company called Club Invest – Europe and has an office in Bangalore. When his father was arrested in Argentina, he was present in India and left India a day before CBI made the news public.
October 2008- Mr Q’s counsel files a protest against CBI asking it about the legal validity of the Red Corner Notice (RCN). CBI passes on the file to the law ministry and on the same day it is sent to the Attorney General for his opinion. The AG gives his opinion the next day.
“The whole purpose of a warrant of arrest is to secure presence of the accused,” said the AG. “This is possible by extradition when the accused is abroad. But two attempts have failed and the judgements indicate that there are no good grounds for extradition. The warrant cannot remain in force forever. Therefore, the warrant dated February 1997 would lose its validity, particularly in view of the successive failed attempts of the CBI to extradite the accused in Malaysia and recently in Argentina,” the AG said.
April 2009 – The law ministry tells that there is no use in continuing the case and the CBI asks for the withdrawal of the RCN and dropping of charges against Mr Q.
Yes, it does look as if all the things are done as per law. But the whole thing becomes murky because of the involvement of the law ministry of a govt which is in its last date and also the point that the govt is headed by the close friend of the accused against whom the charges are dropped.
That is what makes me wonder. What does CBI actually stand for?