Caged parrot, Bansal family suicides: When controversies hit CBI

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Oct 24, 2018 09:49 AM IST

A public spat between CBI’s top two officers has rocked the agency, which has seen a few other controversies in the past . Here’s a look

A public feud between its top two officers has rocked the Central Bureau of Investigation, which has seen a few other controversies in the past .

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is in the middle of a controversy amid an internal squabble between the two top officers of the probe agency.(HT file photo)
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is in the middle of a controversy amid an internal squabble between the two top officers of the probe agency.(HT file photo)

Here’s a look at some earlier controversies

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SC’s caged parrot remark

In 2013, the Supreme Court called the CBI a “caged parrot”. Justice RM Lodha said there was clear evidence of interference in a CBI inquiry into alleged irregularities in coal blocks allocation. The remark came amid the Opposition’s criticism that the government was using the agency to cover up wrongdoing in the case. “It’s a sordid saga that there are many masters and one parrot,” the court said. It added that the agency “must know how to stand up against all pulls and pressures”

Criminal case against Ranjit Sinha

In November 2014, the then CBI chief, Ranjit Sinha, was directed by the Supreme Court to recuse himself from a probe into the 2G scam. The court issued the directions following a PIL that stated that Sinha abused his official position and met accused in many cases at his residence. The top court asked former CBI special director ML Sharma to look into charges against Sinha. Following Sharma’s report, the CBI was asked to register a criminal case against Sinha. The investigation against Sinha is yet to be completed

Criminal case against AP Singh

Ranjit Sinha’s predecessor in the Central Bureau of Investigation, AP Singh was accused by the investigating agency in 2017 of abusing his official position. It was alleged that controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi was taking money for “settling” Central Bureau of Investigation cases against people by claiming his proximity to Singh. One of the businessmen who allegedly paid money to Qureshi was Sana Satish Babu, who is now a complainant against Rakesh Asthana

Vijay Mallya’s flight out of country

The dilution of a lookout circular (LoC) against beleaguered tycoon Vijay Mallya from “block” to “inform” allowed his escape on March 2, 2016. In October 2015, the LoC was issued against Mallya on the request of the Central Bureau of Investigation in a bank loan default. Immigration authorities were asked to stop Mallya from leaving the country, but the agency later downgraded the LoC. Mallya remains in the UK since leaving the country and investigating agencies are trying to secure his extradition

Suicides by Bansal family

In Sept 2016, former director general of corporate affairs BK Bansal and his son committed suicide in their house. Before their suicides, Bansal’s daughter and wife, too, killed themselves after the registration of a bribery case against the official. Bansal and his son wrote suicide notes in which they accused some Central Bureau of Investigation officials, including a deputy inspector general-level officer of threatening and misbehaving with them. It is still not known whether the CBI investigated charges levelled by the Bansals

Transfer of RK Dutta

The Central Bureau of Investigation’s then special director and frontrunner for the director’s post, RK Dutta, was transferred only two days before the then Central Bureau of Investigation chief Anil Sinha was to retire in December, 2016. Dutta was shunted out to make way for Rakesh Asthana’s appointment as acting director. Asthana was only an additional director. “A note had gone to CVC that I was to be shifted from CBI to the home ministry and CVC just followed the course. CVC was supposed to look into the reasons of my shifting,” Dutta said recently

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