Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)'s Director Ashwani Kumar, who recently completed a year as the head of the premier investigating agency, told HT's Abhishek Sharan on Saturday that the investigating agency was sure about the bribery case against Sarabjot Singh, though the probe was in the preliminary stage yet. Singh is the son of Buta Singh, former Union Home Minister and current chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.
Q & A
Q: Are there leads available with the CBI that would make it question Buta Singh to ascertain his role in the bribery case involving his son Sarabjot? Do you think he allegedly winked at the deal?
Ashwani Kumar (AK): "We have not yet taken a decision whether to interrogate him (Buta Singh) or not. It will be taken absolutely on the merits of the ongoing probe and the evidence on record, including those of independent witnesses and telephonic records. We can't discuss details of investigation.
Q: CBI's probe has brought out Sarabjot's alleged close links with the hawala operators network, from Bangalore to Mumbai. The agency has already arrested two of them, while a key suspect from Bangalore is absconding. How deep is the link between the accused and the illegal hawala operators?
AK: Nowadays, a few people develop contacts with hawala operators who transfer money illegally across states as well as countries. We are looking for the Bangalore-based hawala operator who played a key role in the case. The CBI is probing this linkage…
Q: Buta Singh has said the agency's action against his son was the result of a political conspiracy. Please comment.
AK: We go by the law and carry out our probe in a professional, transparent and truthful manner. The basis of the case is the evidence on record, the complaint, the FIR, the telephonic conversations and testimonies of independent witnesses in the case. The probe will unfold on the merits of the evidence we have and we are sure of our case against the accused men.
Q: Will the CBI probe other possible instances where Sarabjot could have indulged in similar malpractices?
AK: We are as of now concerned only with the case we have.
Q: Did you need to get a nod from the central government to go ahead Sarabjot Singh in this case?
AK: No, we did not ask for any approval from the government. We went strictly by the merits of the complaint received by the CBI against the accused.