The government came under severe attack from the opposition parties over the CBI producing an expired warrant for the extradition of the prime accused in the Purulia arms drop case, Kim Davy, from Denmark.
HT reported on Thursday that a two-member CBI team reached Denmark with an arrest warrant that had expired in January.
“Here is another blunder. Big embarrassment for the country. Is anybody accountable in this government?” Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj tweeted on Thursday.
Senior CPM leader Nilotpal Basu said, “The way the central government has been using the CBI has blunted the professional efficiency of the agency. Despite the Supreme Court pulling up the government, the CBI continues to be the way they are.”
In Copenhagen, the Danish high court concluded its hearing on India's plea for Davy’s extradition and is expected to pass the verdict next week.
Davy's partner in the arms drop case, Peter Bleach, a British national who had spent eight years in a Kolkata jail before being released in 2004, was summoned on Thursday.
“As part of my evidence, I identified Niels Holck as being Kim P Davy. I described the purchase, the flight, and the arms drop (in Purulia district of West Bengal in 1995),” Bleach told HT from Copenhagen.
The aftermath of the CBI goof-up also led to a war of words between the BJP and home minister P Chidambaram.
Labelling the recurrent errors as “governance deficit” - borrowing a term coined by Chidambaram - BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said, “The human errors are leading to one embarrassment after another. Post-9/11, the home minister had said he would attempt greater coherence and coordination between the intelligence agencies. But there is one error after another.”
She also wondered whether the CBI was deliberately messing up the case.
Chidambaram reacted by saying that Sitharaman had committed a “monumental error” in blaming him, as the CBI is not under the administrative control of the home ministry.
CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra said the agency would enquire how its team went to Copenhagen with an expired arrest warrant.
“After the examination, the CBI will take strict action against those found guilty as per the rules,” she said.