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India

CBI Stumped!

CBI lost it over again. Two days back, a Jaipur court acquitted 14 accused including a senior IPS officer in the famous Dara Singh ‘fake’ encounter case. The central investigating agency took over the Dara Singh case in 2010 during the Congress government and arrested BJP leader and existing cabinet minister Rajendra Rathore besides cops who were allegedly involved in the encounter which took place in 2006 in Jaipur.

The court, while acquitting all accused in the case categorically said that CBI acted under political pressure.  This is not for the first time CBI had fumbled and failed to cross the hurdle of judicial scrutiny. In many high profile cases CBI has slipped,  especially in politically sensitive cases. So much so that the Supreme Court termed it once as ‘caged parrot’ after it was caught listless in several instances. The remark by Supreme Court has put a question mark on the credibility of the investigating agency.

WHY CBI FAULTERS

CBI acts on the direction of higher ups. They don’t have expert investigators in their team. They have officers on deputation from different departments. Most of the time, they work under political pressure and create evidences which fail the judicial test. Also, CBI cases prolong and lose their steam letting several loop holes, which make the case weak.—A K Jain, Advocate

Aarushi Murder

The theory of the CBI in the murder case of Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj had came under sharp criticism in October from the Allahabad High Court which had termed it as "impossible hypothesis" and "patently absurd". The high court had acquitted Aarushi's parents, dentists Nupur and Rajesh Talwar, holding that the prosecution had "miserably failed" to prove that the Talwars had destroyed material evidence. The dentist couple were convicted by a Ghaziabad court in 2013 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Rajiv Gandhi Assassination

The CBI’s Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency probe into the larger conspiracy aspect in the assassination case of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi has recently come under the radar of the top court. In scathing remarks, the Apex Court had observed that the investigation did not appear to have achieved “much headway” and could be “endless”. Even Rahul and Priyanka have forgiven the assasins.

Sohrabuddin Fake Encounter

The CBI court acquitted BJP chief Amit Shah in the high profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter. The court observed that the charges against Shah  had political overtones. In the same case, former Deputy Inspector General of Gujarat DG Vanzara and the then SP of Rajasthan Police Dinesh MN were discharged and the court observed that there was absolutely no iota of materials as when, where and who killed.

High Profile Cases Where CBI Faltered

The classic example of failure of CBI are the alleged corruption cases in the 2G spectrum allocation and the sensational Aarushi murder case where it failed to prove its theory that the young girl was murdered by her parents. The probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has come under sharp criticism not only from the trial courts and high courts but also from the apex court.

2G Spectrum

The 2G spectrum cases, which had led to the debacle of Congress in the Lok Sabha polls, could not secure a single conviction. It upturned the thrones, made the government unstable and put many ministers behind bar for several years. The filing of charge sheets by the CBI in four different matters along with documents ran into lakhs of pages but all the accused got acquitted after 10 years of trial. In two cases dealt with by the special 2G court — the Aircel-Maxis deal and the additional spectrum allocation matter — the accused were discharged while in the main case involving former telecom minister A Raja and others, all the accused were acquitted.

Bofors Case

The CBI’s investigation in the politically sensitive Bofors payoff case was also unable to withstand judicial scrutiny with the Delhi High Court on May 31, 2005 quashing all the charges against the Hinduja brothers — Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand — and the Bofors company. The high court had also castigated the CBI over its handling of the Bofors case, saying it had cost the exchequer about Rs 250 crore.

Coal Scam

In the coal scam, the CBI was time and again caught on the wrong foot by the Apex Court and the special trial court over its investigation. The Supreme Court had in May 2017 slammed the CBI for “failing to live up to its reputation” in a fodder scam case involving RJD chief Lalu Prasad, saying there was “intolerable lethargy” in filing an appeal.

Yeddyurappa mining scam

The CBI’s case related to alleged illegal mining in Bellary in which the agency had chargesheeted former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and others, also fell flat with the trial court discharging all the accused.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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