The double standards adopted by the CBI while dealing with two current cases is glaring. Surprisingly it has not attracted any notice among media pundits.
In the case involving Law Minister Mr. Ashwani Kumar CBI Director Mr. Ranjit Sinha has displayed amazing and unprecedented candour. Not only did he confess to the Supreme Court (SC) the names of all officials including the Law Minister who accessed his status report on the Coalgate investigation, he even provided to the court details of how changes were made in it by the officials concerned. Despite the adverse remarks made by the SC against the CBI Mr. Sinha with commendable humility and discipline has cheerfully endorsed all criticism passed by SC. In the process he has of course damned the prospects of Law Minister Mr. Ashwani Kumar.
How strange, then, that the same CBI Director is leaning over backward while pursuing the investigation against Railway Minister Mr. Pawan Kumar Bansal. Even after this government has trashed the most basic democratic conventions it is acknowledged that if the CBI is led to question Mr. Bansal in the course of its investigation it might become too brazen even for this government to allow the Railway Minister to continue in office. The CBI therefore is humming and hawing over its decision to question the Minister. Media channel anchors doubtless echoing CBI sources are speculating whether it will be at all necessary to question Mr. Bansal.
Have the CBI and the national media commentators gone stark staring bonkers?
Is there the remotest possibility that in the course of a credible investigation Mr. Bansal can evade questioning? His nephew with close family ties accepted a bribe to ensure an official’s transfer. The transfer was made. The transfer could only be made by the Railway Minister. Several telephone calls between the uncle and the nephew made during the relevant period have been intercepted by the investigators. And yet it is being questioned whether the Minister should be at all questioned? Can reasoning be more perverse?
Now connect the dots which no media analyst will dare do.
Law Minister Mr. Ashwani Kumar is known to be a particular favourite of Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh. If the Law Minister has to quit it is difficult to see how the PM can remain in office. Railway Minister Mr. Bansal is an ardent loyalist of UPA Chairperson Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. CBI Director Mr. Ranjit Sinha served the political interests of Mrs. Gandhi by derailing the fodder scam investigating the UPA Chairperson’s political loyalist in Bihar, Mr. Laloo Prasad Yadav. Even after his removal from the investigation following controversy Mr. Sinha transferred certain CBI officials dealing with the fodder case to attract more censure from the courts.
If one connects the dots one reaches a conclusion that is unspeakable. But is that conclusion unthinkable?