A Caged Parrot

Remember the comment made by Justice Lodha

Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat
Srinagar, Publish Date: Apr 20 2018 10:23PM | Updated Date: Apr 20 2018 10:23PM
A Caged ParrotFile Photo

On May 9th 2013 when the infamous Coalgate petition was being heard before the Supreme Court Judge R M Lodha, the irate judge, while rebuking the then Attorney General of India had called Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as a Caged Parrot and its masters voice. Justice Lodha who was much disturbed with the direct Government interference in CBI's functioning further said, “I have an evidence that there was a clear interference by Government in the CBI’s investigation process”. Pertinently Central CBI was investigating the irregularities vis a vis allocation of licenses for different coalfields to private firms. Justice Lodha’s statement in an open court had authenticated the allegations being made by Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies that CBI was being influenced by the Congress lead UPA Government. BJP that was in opposition that time had on several occasions attacked Government for making CBI redundant. I remember Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was Gujrat Chief Minister in 2013 had described CBI as Congress Bureau of Investigation.  

When BJP came to power in 2014, Modi led Government is allegedly using CBI to target its political opponents. When Lalu Yadav’s Fodder Scam case again surfaced up Congress accused BJP of engaging in political vendetta against its opponents to hide its 'epic failures'. Congress president Rahul Gandhi accused BJP of 'using' the CBI to 'harass' key opposition politicians and asked who will be Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'next target'? Rahul dubbed the CBI as the 'Captive Bureau of Investigation' in the hands of the Modi Government. In August last year CBI filed a case against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi’s Health Minister Satyender Jain. Reacting to it AAP leader Ashutosh said that Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered a false case against Delhi health minister and his family and ‘failed’ to recover anything. Ashutosh further said that premier investigating agency was allowing itself to be misused as a political weapon of the ruling BJP. Even the Kerala Government in its written affidavit before Kerala High Court last year called CBI a Caged Parrot. This submission came through a counter affidavit filed by Home department of Kerala  in response to a petition filed by the Kannur-based RSS affiliated Gopalan Adiyodi Vakkeel Smaraka Trust which demanded a CBI inquiry into the conspiracies behind the seven murders of RSS activists that took place after the CPM-led LDF Government came to power in May, 2016. 

CBI & Kathua case 

Hindu Ekta Manch which is spearheading agitation in Jammu in favour of the accused, along with several BJP leaders, have been demanding CBI inquiry into the incident. Jammu Bar Association, Panthers Party leaders and even some Congress leaders from Kathua also demanded a CBI inquiry into this case. Crime Branch on the other hand has completed its investigation and has submitted charge sheet as well. Crime Branch has arrested 8 persons in this case which includes 4 cops and three men from a family. As part of women’s intervention initiated by State Women’s Commission (SWC) a team lead by Chairperson SWC, Nayeema Mahjoor and senior journalist Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal visited the women sitting on a hunger strike few weeks back. When the SWC led group asked the women ( mostly relatives of the accused) what CBI is, they said, “We  don’t know  what CBI is, but it will do justice with us” . A blind faith among the families of the  accused and people at large from Jammu has been created by BJP leaders like Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga who both were Ministers in J&K Government until recently. In spite of being ministers in the Government until recently, these people, only to settle their political goals, created such an image of Crime Branch that majority of the people in Jammu feel that Crime Branch is not at all doing justice in this case. Crime Branch Special Investigation Team (SIT) which is investigating into this whole issue has officers from both the communities- Hindus and Muslims - and in fact the head of the team who is an Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) happens to be a Hindu.     

Conclusion 

As an institution people have no faith in CBI’s style of investigation. During Congress led UPA Government it has been accused of coming under Government influence. Even a Supreme Court Judge as mentioned in the beginning of this article made such a reference in an open court in May 2013 by calling CBI a Caged Parrot. Modi called it Congress Bureau of Investigation. When BJP came to power it has allegedly started using CBI to target its political opponents like Lalu Yadav, Chidambaram, Aam Admi Party and many others. I don’t give a clean chit to these people, but  as an institution CBI has failed and is being questioned by people ? If this case is handed over to CBI, people at large will question the investigation process. People of Kashmir too have a very bad experience with CBI as it failed to give justice to Asiya and Neelofar of Shopian who were murdered in 2009. CBI was investigating Pathribal fake encounter case in 2003 wherein several civilians were killed mercilessly in a fake encounter by Army. After investigation CBI indicted some officers including a Brigadier, a Colonel and two Majors but the case was finally closed under Govt's pressure.