NEW DELHI: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday accused the Congress of misusing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to settle political scores with opposition parties.
Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters, party president Rajnath Singh, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and Rajasthan unit chief and former chief minister Vasundhara Raje referred to the arrest of former minister Gulab Chand Kataria in Jaipur on Tuesday in connection with the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.
Sohrabuddin Sheikh, a known criminal, Kauser Bi, his wife and Tulsiram Prajapati, an associate, were picked up in a joint operation by the police of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh from a bus on way from Hyderabad to Sangli in Maharashtra on Nov. 22, 2005.
Sohrabuddin, who the Gujarat police say, was a terrorist with links with Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Taiba, planning to assassinate Chief Minister Narendra Modi, was subsequently killed in an “encounter.”
Kauser Bi had remained untraced till a probe revealed that she was also killed and her body burnt.
Prajapati was also stated to have been killed in an “encounter” near Chapri village near Ambaji in Banaskantha district.
He was allegedly trying to escape from custody while being shifted from Rajasthan to Gujarat in December 2006.
While Rajnath Singh said the charges against Kataria were baseless and politically motivated, Jaitley expressed doubts over the CBI being able to carry out an independent probe.
In this context, he referred to the adverse comments made by the Supreme Court after the CBI chief Ranjit Sinha admitted in an affidavit that the status report on probe in the coal blocks allotment scam was shown to the law minister and two top bureaucrats.
“We cannot expect the CBI to probe fairly and freely. We now know how the CBI operates after its true face came out in the Supreme Court,” Jaitley said.
He also wondered why the CBI had arrested Kataria, a respected leader on murder charges through a supplementary chargesheet in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.
Referring to 900million rail bribery case, he said CBI had stated that former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has no direct involvement, even before interrogating him.
He added, “There is one hundred times more evidence in the Railway Board recruitment scam.”
Jailtley said when former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah was named in the same case, the party had maintained that there was no truth in the matter.
Subsequently, Shah was granted bail by the trial court that was approved by the High Court as well as Supreme Court.
Jaitley also dubbed the setting up of a group of ministers (GoM) to draft a new bill to insulate the CBI from political interference as an eyewash, reports PTI.
He said the issue of autonomy of CBI has been discussed at length in the debate over the Lokpal Bill as well as during the meeting of the select committee of the Upper House.
“The new GoM on autonomy for CBI is an eyewash. There is no need to start afresh,” Jaitley said, adding the Lokpal Bill passed by Lok Sabha also has provisions on autonomy to CBI by amending the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.