Caged parrot to Vijay Mallya: The controversies that haunted the CBI
New Delhi, Oct 25: The Central Bureau of Investigation, India's premier probe agency is in focus and for all the wrong reasons. Former officers of the agency have termed the recent developments as unfortunate and probably the worst in the history of the agency.
However it is not for the first time that the CBI has been mired in controversy. It was called a caged parrot by the Supreme Court in 2013. Here are a few of the controversies that have hit the agency in the past.
R K Dutta:
A frontrunner for the post of Director, R K Dutta was transferred just two days before the then CBI chief, Anil Sinha was to retire in December 2016. This was done to make way for Rakesh Asthana. Dutta said recently, 'a note had gone to CVC that I was to be shifted from CBI to the home ministry and CVC had followed the course. CVC was supposed to look into the reasons of my shifting.'
The Vijay Mallya escape from India has been largely blamed on the dilution of a Look out Circular by the CBI. The LoC was changed from block to inform and on March 2 2016, Mallya managed to flee the country. In October 2015, the LoC was issued on the request of the CBI to stop Mallya from leaving the country. However the LoC was downgraded.
A PIL was filed in the Supreme Court stating that the CBI chief in 2014, Ranjit Sinha had abused his official position and met accused in many cases at his residence. The court asked Sinha to recuse himself from the probe into the 2G scam. The court also asked former CBI special director M L Sharma to look into the charges against Sinha. Following the report, the CBI was asked to register a criminal case against him.
Following the registration of a bribery case, former director general of corporate affairs B K Bansal and his son committed suicide at their home. Prior to this Bansal's daughter and wife to killed themselves. In the suicide notes, Bansal and his son accused the CBI officials of threatening them. They also misbehaved, the notes stated.
This was probably one of the most stinging observations by the Supreme Court against the CBI. Justice R M Lodha in 2013 said that there was clear evidence of interference by in a CBI inquiry into alleged irregularities in coal block allocation. It is a sordid saga that there are many masters and one parrot. The agency must know how to stand up against all pulls and pressures, Justice Lodha also observed.