Digvijay dares SC, CAT

Digvijay dares SC, CAT
Highlights

Defends Ashwani Kumar & Bansal Asserts Law Minister has a right to advise CBI Defends PM on coal block...

  • Defends Ashwani Kumar & Bansal
  • Asserts Law Minister has a right to advise CBI
  • Defends PM on coal block allocations

Living up to his reputation, AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh had a dig at the judiciary. Objecting to the Supreme Court description of CBI as a caged parrot and calling the IB a chicken by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) Bench in Bangalore, Digvijay Singh opined that such comments only belittle institutions. The tone and tenor of Digvijay Singh's remarks were reflective of the growing levels of discomfort in the Congress-led UPA Government, which is engaged in a battle against perception.A

The Congress leader's attack on the judiciary was unprecedented for its scale and scope, as he went on to remind the Supreme Court of its area of functioning. Digvijay Singh said the Supreme Court has its own jurisdiction. The pillars of democracy cannot encroach on each other's jurisdiction. "Can the Supreme Court conduct an investigation? Is the Executive liable to answer the people or the court? We are chosen by the people and we are answerable to the people," he remarked.

Hurt by the Supreme Court's rebuff to the government on the autonomy of the CBI, Digvijay Singh dared the judiciary to order filing of charges against former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and send him to jail. Going ballistic, Digvijay Singh said, "If the Supreme Court feels the heart of the coalgate report was changed by the former Law Minister, then it should pass a judicial order, mentioning the sections of the relevant law. No one can be held guilty on the basis of observations. Observations do not fix responsibility and the apex court cannot get away like this." Asserting that the Law Minister has a right to advise the CBI, he said Ashwani Kumar was a lawyer, who knew his job.

Responding to BJP criticism against his remarks, Digvijay Singh asked the saffron party, whether the CBI was a parrot of the Vajpayee Government and whether during its tenure the IB was a chicken. Defending Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's stand on coal block allocations, Digvijay Singh claimed the Prime Minister favoured auction. However, since majority of the coal blocks were in the Opposition-ruled States, these State Chief Ministers put up stiff resistance to Centre's move.A "If Ashwani Kumar had to resign, it was the prerogative of the Prime Minister. He was not guilty," he said.A

Digvijay Singh came out even in defence of former Railway Minister Pawan Bansal. "There is no evidence of Pawan Bansal taking a bribe. His nephew is charged and he is in jail. If his companies have made profit, it is for the Income-Tax Department and Revenue Intelligence Department to hold investigations. The media cannot hold a trial," he claimed. The BJP launched a counter-offensive on the Congress leader for blaming the top judiciary. BJP Senior leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said. "If the morale of the CBI has been downgraded, it is only because of the rank abuse of the CBI by the Government.

The CBI was deliberately not allowed to take up fair investigation. Otherwise, the Minister of UPA government would not have sought to weaken the import of the CBI's entire investigations in the coalgate. It was done because the Prime Minister was involved in the coalgate. Instead of blaming the highest judiciary, it is important for Digvijay Singh to learn and understand as to why there are a string of scams, one after another.

Anita Saluja

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