ALL INDIA CONGRESS COMMITTEE
24, AKBAR ROAD, NEW DELHI
Highlights of the Press Briefing
24 October, 2018
Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi said- An illegal, unconstitutional and illegitimate coup d’état in the CBI by the Modi-Shah duo has shamed India, has shamed all Indian institutions. It is very clear that the Hon’ble Prime Minister is experiencing ‘Rafale-o-phobia’. This terror of the Rafale scam has led to the demolition by this PM, this ruling BJP, this Government to the demolition of the pillars of Indian investigating agency. Why – to save your own skin!
Friends, I want to place before you both in Hindi and English on about 6 or 7 points and read to you some provisions at the end.
The first of those points is that what you have seen today is the de-facto removal, de-facto suspension, unconstitutional and illegal, of the CBI Director and we charge the Prime Minister and the ruling BJP and its President for doing so to control the premier investigating agency, to get its dirty jobs done there and in particular to avoid the day of reckoning arising from Rafale-o-phobia.
So, therefore, the Supreme Court order which mandates independent, completely unbiased, autonomous CBI has been nullified. The amendments to the CBI Act Sections 4A and 4B have been nullified by the camouflage and the simple expedient the over clever but disingenuous method of calling it forced leave, de facto removal and de facto suspension. Supreme Court judgments, statutes of India are grist to the mill of this irresponsible Government and the uncaring ruling party Chairman, the uncaring Hon’ble Prime Minister.
The prosecution agency, the prosecutor, the prosecuting officer have been made lame duck and paralyzed by this Government only to support and an accused, who is accused of an extortion charge. Have you ever seen any Government in 70 years of Indian History doing this for any institution leave aside the CBI?
This direct interference in an ongoing criminal investigation when I am prosecuting you, is a direct violation of the law of the land. The law is clear, even the President of India can’t call an investigating officer and say anything about an investigation. Here, I file a charge sheet about extortion and a third person interfers calls me, calls him and discusses. Has all propriety, legality, constitutionality, good sense been sold or forgotten in the mad pursuit of power and clinging to office.
CVC has no power to appoint you or disappoint you. They have no power to interfere in removal, appointment, and re-appointment. Let me disabuse you of that process of thinking. All the ‘Gyan’ you have heard earlier in the morning from the BJP is the usual ‘Gyan’ which was given to you during demonetization, during fiscal deficit, during Mehul Choksi, during Nirav Modi, So, now you must be all ‘gyanis’ to disbelieve that ‘Gyan’. The CVC is a supervisory body, which supervises the CBI. Do you think the CVC can violate Section 4A and 4B? So, I will say that you can appoint with only Chief Justice of India, Prime Minister and Neta Pratipaksh consent and next day CVC will remove you or transfer you or send you on compulsory leave. Is this the interpretation of law and the ‘gyan’ you have been distributed. The CVC, the Congress Party straight away charges, with equal usurpation of power, misleading the nation and it is clearly being misused by the Government of India as have all other institutions. The CVC institutions has also been misused and it is a same CVC which allowed the same Number 2 to attend the meeting to represent the CBI, despite a written letter by the Director of CBI that he was not authorized to represent the CBI.
Friends, this is a can of worms, it is a sordid sorry state of affairs, politically, legally, constitutionally, morally. We condemn the Government and the Government is clueless but actually not clueless. It is very much involved directly in managing, its nefarious, dart dirty secrets and affairs through suborning and subverting institutions which are the premier investigating agency of this country.
On a question about Shri Asthana going on leave, how the Congress Party takes it forward, Dr. Singhvi said I hope you will understand the exact the civic answer I am giving to your question – the first part you have already acknowledged. It is not a question of doing it for this or that. You have no power to do it – you go and take the Committee’s approval – what is the problem. Then have a Committee meeting tomorrow, you can have the meeting one week later. Are you scared that the Committee of people like this will not agree to your proposal? Point No. 1 for which you will not give any ‘gyan’, you will only be reading comments to that. The second point to your answer is very-very important – there is a fraud equivalence and a false equivalence – false is a mild word, it is a fraud equivalence being created about the charges against No. 2 and the charges against No. 1. This is an equivalence sought to be created.
The charge of the accused against the prosecutor is given a fraud equivalence to the charge of the prosecution agency – the CBI – against the accused from Gujarat days. Then brought on record before the Cabinet Committee, then brought on record in writing, then statement under 164 Cr. P. C. record. You know 164 is a statement before a Magistrate. So, there is no equivalence. Every accused can say that he policeman who is trying to do investigate against me is corrupt. That is not an equal charge. So, the Government is using, misusing and deliberately weakening the CBI by such pretext and fraud. That is a complete answer.
On a further question that 13 officers have been today transferred who were investigating Asthana case, Investigating Officer Mr. Bassi has been transferred to Port Blair, what does the Congress Party really say about the CBI and this Government, Dr. Singhvi said it says all the things, all the adjectives I have used for the Government are the understatement of the century. That was intriguing. I cannot repeat those adjectives. I think I have been very mild. You have actually made one third of the agency investigating a man who is clearly found to be in a very-very serious racket lame duck 1/3rd not only ahead – 10 officers because you must protect your blue-eyed favourite. If you do not protect your blue eyed favourite, he has so many skeletons in his cupboard which are your skeletons. The cupboard is his and the key is with him but the skeletons are yours.
And secondly, how do you get your Rafaleo-menia managed unless you control the CBI. So you make a pretext moral equivalence, fraud equivalence, a false equivalence and you decimate 1/3rd of CBI for a corrupt – allegedly corrupt – under investigation officer and say both are equal.
On the question that the Spokesperson used pending charges were pending investigation against Asthana when he was appointed in view of the Supreme Court judgment, Dr. Singhvi said a Supreme Court ruling an appointment is not illegal, has nothing to do with the serious charges facing. Don’t forget Mr. Number 2 whose appointment is purely an executive order. I can issue an executive order appointing you there, if I am the Government of India. It is not a Committee selection. Let it be clear. So, the Government exercises its executive power to appoint someone. Legally, the appointment by an executive may not be void because there is no selection for it. Does it mean that the Government chose the most appropriate, the most ‘upyukt’, the most apposite person.
To another question on the statement of Shri Jaitley, Dr. Singhvi said fraud equivalence, false equivalence; a non-existed equivalence is the ‘Gyan’ you have got. Now get the ‘sangyan’ you have got.