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Is CB-CID qualified to handle case?

business Updated: Jan 20, 2009 22:03 IST
Ashok Das

Is the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) actually equipped to investigate the Rs 7,136-crore Satyam fraud case? Maybe not, if experts are to be believed.

“Only specialised agencies (like the Serious Frauds Investigation Office), mandated to investigate such cases, can do it effectively,” said K Vijayarama Rao, former CBI director, who headed the Andhra CB-CID in the early 1990s.

“It would have been better if CB-CID had allowed the specialised agencies to complete their investigations before launching its own criminal investigation,” he said. Why? Any confession by the accused recorded by the police is not admissible as evidence before the courts, clarified Rao.

Serving police officers echoed his opinion. A senior police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a DSP, assisted by a few inspectors, were interrogating the accused. “What expertise do these officers have in unravelling a crime of this magnitude and sophistication?” he asked. “This is simply beyond their capacity.”

Then, there is the issue of credibility as well. There are suspicions of political interference, which prompted Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YSR Reddy and state home minister Jana Reddy to deny the government is shielding Raju.

Raju was reportedly questioned for “less than half-an-hour” on the first day of police custody on Sunday. What was the CB-CID team doing for the rest of the day?