Manesar land scam: Court slams CBI for ‘pick and choose’ probe
Special CBI judge Jagdeep Singh, who had on December 1 summoned five additional accused in the Manesar land scam, has come down heavily on the central agency for conducting investigations in a pick and choose manner.
The judge said conduct of investigators, especially in sensitive matters, needed to be scrutinised with reference to their movements and calls records of the relevant time.
“Reasons may be two fold — the investigating officer (IO) was either adamant to extend benefit to the persons arrayed as accused or to extend benefit to the persons against whom there are clear cut and prima facie circumstances but have not been arraigned as accused,” said the special judge in his 176-page order.
The order said such isolated instances are enough to bring the “sobriquet of caged parrot to the agency”.
The special judge, who had on December 1 ordered framing of charges against former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and 32 other accused chargesheeted by the CBI, said the court is not supposed to act as a mere post office or a mouth piece of the prosecuting agency and act as a mute spectator.
In his reaction sought by HT, Hooda had said that framing of charges was a part of the process. “I have got full faith in judiciary. As far as this case is concerned, it is politically motivated,” the former chief minister had said.
The court said despite unambiguous statements of witnesses and documents on record, the IO has chosen to turn a blind eye to the role of some important public servants whose acts and omissions can be prima facie termed to be more culpable than the persons arrayed as accused in this case.
‘IO’s narrative contradicted by material on record’
The court said sporadic instances of the biased and tainted investigations of a few investigators cannot dent the image of this agency. The IO has sought to introduce narrative which on the face of its gets contradicted vide documents and material on record. It apparently appears that IO has done investigation in an apparent pick and choose manner, for the reasons best known to him.
The court had also summoned five additional accused, including former HSIIDC managing director Rajiv Arora, former industries director DR Dhingra, former HSIIDC chief town planner Surjit Singh, former chief town planner of town and country planning Dhare Singh, and former town and country planning deputy superintendent Kulwant Lamba.
From the documents on record, it needs no forensic skills to find out that the foundations of making the acquisition proceedings to lapse was laid down by the functionaries of industries department and HSIIDC, in cahoots with each other. Prima facie culpability of the then industries director, DR Dhingra, is further reflected from the statement of witness, the court said.
‘Law does not permit mini trial at this stage’
Dismissing the discharge application of the accused, the court said it is required to evaluate the material and documents on record with a view to find out if the facts emerging therefrom, taken at their face value, disclose the existence of all the ingredients constituting the alleged offences. The law does not permit a mini trial at this stage, it said.