At a time when a furious debate is raging on the autonomy of the CBI, parallels are being drawn between the efforts mounted by the ministry of home affairs (MHA) to ‘informally’ ask for details of probe against Intelligence Bureau special director Rajinder Kumar in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case and the vetting of the agency’s status report in coal block allocation scam by the Prime Minister’s Office and law minister Ashwani Kumar.
After the vetting episode with regard to the coal block allocation probe came out in the open, Ashwani Kumar had to resign from the union cabinet.
“The MHA is naturally worried about fallout of CBI’s probe against Rajinder Kumar, who is senior IB official. There have been informal meetings with the MHA on the issue. I would not attach any negative connotations to these meetings but in a broad technical view an investigator is answerable only to the magistrate,” said an extremely cautious CBI official requesting anonymity.
The Gujarat high court is monitoring the CBI’s probe into the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.
The investigation agency will file a status report on the probe so far in the high court on July 4 which also the deadline for filing the chargesheet in the case.
According to sources, the MHA officials have made it clear to the CBI that it intends to file the chargesheet against Rajinder Kumar, the agency would have seek sanction to prosecute the IB official as the MHA is the administrative ministry of the Intelligence Bureau.
A TIMELINE ON ISHRAT JAHAN ENCOUNTER CASE
MHA officials have argued that a prior sanction is required under section 197 of the criminal procedure code (CrPC). But the CBI officials say that getting involved in the conspiracy to murder is not part of the official duty of any public servant therefore no prior sanction is required and in the past, the agency has filed charge sheets without seeking sanction under section 197 of the CrPC.