The Special Task Force’s (STF) alleged reluctance to charge sheet the governor’s son Shailesh Yadav as an accused in the high-profile Professional Examination Board (PEB) scam has put the spotlight back on the court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT). Its chairperson Justice Chandresh Bhushan clears the air on the issue in an exclusive interview to Ashutosh Shukla and Yogendra Pratap Singh of HT. Excerpts...
Are you satisfied with the way the STF has proceeded in its investigations into different scams in the Professional Examination Board scam?
Yes, I am fully satisfied. With their limited resources, they are doing their best to do justice. There are more than 100 cases relating to PEB scam. So many people are absconding, corroborative evidence has to be produced to establish guilt of persons accused in those cases and the STF is sincerely working towards that objective.
But, there are charges that STF is not being fair in its probe, that powerful people connected to ruling party are being spared?
Investigation goes step by step. When they have evidence to prove charges against somebody, they will proceed with action.
There is a controversy over the governor’s son not being questioned despite his name figuring in a charge sheet produced by the STF a couple of days ago?
They have collected some evidence against him, let them corroborate it. He will be charge-sheeted.
But, the governor’s son is not the only person in question. There are similar allegations against Union minister Uma Bharti and some RSS leaders too.
Investigation takes time. Action against everyone can’t be taken simultaneously. Let them do the investigation, when they have sufficient evidence against any of the person, he/she will be booked.
Do you mean to say that they have left all the powerful persons associated with ruling party and RSS for prosecution at a later stage?
There is nothing like later or sooner. When they will have evidence, they will proceed with next action.
You are supposed to push them towards finding evidence against accused whom they might be shielding?
I will not produce evidence for them. I will only see if they are taking proper steps to collect evidence and SIT is doing it.
There were even doubts over SIT’s jurisdiction.
The High Court has clarified that investigations into all the examinations conducted by PEB where there was a sort of scam would be under our jurisdiction.
But the HC in its order through which SIT was created had said it was only investigating PMT scams and not all PEB scams.
No, the court subsequently passed an order to clarify that we would monitor investigation into all the PEB scams.
Digvijaya Singh and some more Congress leaders came to you with their grievances. Did they produce any viable evidence to prove their charges?
No, they only argued their cases. They didn’t produce any additional evidence. Like they had an excel sheet, which was part of a charge sheet itself.
But they had their doubts over investigation and we are taking care of that.
By what time do you think the final charge sheet in all the cases would be filed in the courts?
I can’t give you a time. As I said, there are more than 100 cases and the final charge sheet has not been filed in any of the cases. So many persons are absconding. It’s quite a daunting task. It’s not easy. They are on the job, let’s see when it is finished.
Can you assure on behalf of SIT that none of the accused who-so-ever powerful would be spared in the matter?
I can’t say that. But everyone knows me and two more members of the SIT. We can’t be influenced by anyone. We shall not be influenced.