Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Supreme Court on CBI Director

On 20/11/2014 Supreme Court ordered CBI Director Ranjit Sinha not to interfere in the investigation and trial of 2G spectrum cases. The bench consisted of CJI H. L. Dattu and Justices M. B. Lokur and A. K. Sikri.
The order said “We direct Ranjit Sinha not to interfere in the 2G spectrum investigation and trial. The next seniormost officer of the investigation team would take over from Sinha and continue proceedings.” Supreme Court said if we give a detailed order, there will be damage to the reputation of this great institution. The order came after Special Public Prosecutor Anand Grover submitted his report and told the court that Sinha had attempted to file an affidavit that would derail the entire prosecution in the 2G case.
In the morning CBI Joint Director Ashok Tiwari and some CBI officers had come to court. Supreme Court told them to go back and do some work.
Supreme Court can give elaborate reasons for its order. It need not worry about faith in CBI or its Director.
Not many have faith in CBI. CBI’s reputation has been tarnished through various deeds of commission and omission. Cases handed over to CBI have mostly failed in punishing the guilty. There have been cover-ups and acquittals.
Jain hawala case flopped. Aarushi-Hemraj murders case saw twists with change of Directors. Three servants were framed to protect the Talwars. They, the servants, got bail as there was no chargesheet against them. Later under another Director Talwars were charged, found guilty and jailed.
Politicians in power at Centre have used CBI to suit them. CBI has changed its stance in cases against Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Laloo Prasad Yadav according to the wishes of its masters. CBI was used even against Intelligence Bureau in Ishrat Jahan case.
Ranjit Sinha should have been sacked when he said betting should be made legal and when a woman cannot avoid rape she should lie down and enjoy it. It is pathetic that he got away with it.
Government can sack Ranjit Sinha. His last day of service is 2/12/2014. Sacking him will give the message that government will not tolerate corruption and sabotaging of cases. Allowing him to continue because 12 days were left means in future also corrupt officials will plead they should be allowed to retire.
Many times state police do a good job. Cases are handed over to CBI and they flop. In Fake Stamp Papers case names of politicians came out during investigation. They were not interrogated. The amount came down from 37,000 crore rupees to 3,000 crore rupees. In Madhu Koda case the amount came down from 4,000 crore rupees to a few crore rupees. Murders turn into accidents or suicides.
Ranjit Sinha did not know there was visitors’ diary. There were names and car numbers of those who came to meet CBI Director. Supreme Court withdrew its previous order which had directed revealing the name of whistleblower who had handed over the diary to Prashant Bhushan. This is a relief to whistleblower who remains anonymous and others who may wish to become whistleblowers. Vikas Singh who represented Ranjit Sinha had alleged DIG Santosh Rastogi was the whistleblower. CBI lawyer K. K. Venugopal countered him. When judges questioned Vikas Singh he said it appeared an insider was giving information to Prashant Bhushan.
There have been varied reactions to Supreme Court order. Some have said Ranjit Sinha should resign.
Soli Sorabji: As a man of honour, which we assume him to be, he should step down.
R. K. Raghavan: It is an indictment of an individual and not an organization.
TSR Subramaniam: Many times you can do irreparable damage. We do not know the extent. One single meeting can change the course of investigation. It is a matter very high people are involved. If he does not go, government should show him the door.
Subramanian Swamy: He should step down. It will be a disgrace if he continues. Supreme Court has set up a healthy precedent for future. Future directors should be careful.
Bishwajeet Bhattacharya: Government has all the powers. CBI Director should gracefully step down. Be you ever so high, law is above you. Full marks to Supreme Court.
Sanjay Hegde: When you are head of investigating agency you don’t meet the accused.
KTS Tulsi: One person met him 71 times. This is gross misbehavour.
A man of honour does not engage in dishonourable acts. Ranjit Sinha does not want to resign. He said “No personal aspersions have been made against me.” It is for the government to decide on Ranjit Sinha’s continuance.

Updated: November 23, 2014 — 9:48 pm

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