It is a marvel the way Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been out of CBI loop in the UPA’s scam-hit years.
It is a marvel the way Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been out of CBI loop in the UPA’s scam-hit years. The probe agency has moved heaven and earth disturbing the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and other ministries in recent years leaving its sniffers everywhere for any possible intel regarding these scams. But the perpetrator, the seat of the scheming government, has always been issuing lame statements and hopping on jets for foreign tours.
The hit-and-run by the PM started long back the history of which is almost untraceable. But the recent example can be taken from the monsoon session of the parliament. The prime minister, who was forced by the united opposition to deliver a statement regarding the coal mining scam, read the statement as fast as he could and left the house without caring for queries. The issue was of missing coal block allocation files. He lied from his teeth when he said that the files were not missing and had been handed over to the CBI when in reality the agency was issuing statements of PMO’s inability to turn up with the required files.
When the agency decided to file a preliminary enquiryinto the case, it was feared by the government that the prime minister will be questioned which will tarnish his “honest” image. Defending the allocation and the so called honesty, every minister of the UPA government and every sympathizer of Singh jumped in his defence.
It is quite interesting to note that the CBI was more than happy to share the histrionics of the case with the PMO. The Office kept interfering in the agency’s matter and it did not utter a word!
Even the whistleblower in the case, and the person who was lauded by CAG for doing all the right things in coal block allocation process, PC Parakh, was included in the 14th FIR by the probe agency. The UPA faced ire of the industrialists too, who were already chaffed by the social security schemes ruining the economy, when CBI named Kumar Mangalam Birla and Hindalco in that FIR.
But there was no sign of the prime minister.
As PC Parakh said in his subsequent interviews to various media channels, the fact that the prime minister was beholder of the coal ministry at the time of allocation and oversaw the whole matter himself, makes him more than a party to the crime.
R Jagannathan had written in his article at the time when Parakh blowed the bugle that the mundane truth was simple: if anyone was guilty of irresponsibility and breach of public trust in the coal block misallocations, it was the Prime Minister and his office.
But we have only seen people sing praises over his integrity and honesty.
At the time when CBI is facing the axe of judiciary for being an unconstitutional and illegal body, the same UPA government and the same prime minister has come in its defence.
The same UPA government which was unable to produce records relating to the creation of the CBI, which did not file the original record but produced a certified copy of records received from the National Archives, appealed in the Supreme Court against the Guwahati High Court order and succeeded in getting a stay on the judgement.
When the prime minister attended CBI’s conference on tackling corruption, he heaped praises on the agency. However distasteful he may be finding his own words, he said that the government will “seriously” and “promptly” look into the legality of the agency.
It should be noted that the prime minister is not promising to pass the CBI Bill, 2010, which is awaiting legislation. Neither did he refer to the SC judgment which put a stay on the HC order saying that accused in “sensational cases” have sought halting of the criminal proceedings based on the judgement because it may have backfired.
But he simply consoled the CBI promising a “look” into its legality.
The whole scenario again indicates to the fact that the PM has neither been questioned by the agency, nor has he been named in any of the FIRs. We wonder if it was a return of favour that the PM was doing.