HT This Day: June 13, 1948 -- Special: CBI- cell- to prosecute ex-PM

Published on Jun 10, 2022 09:03 PM IST

Within days of his release from hospital, Union Home Minister Charan Singh has ordered setting up of a special prosecution wing in the Central Bureau of Investigation, to file criminal cases against Mrs Indira Gandhi and others on the basis of Shah Commission’s findings.

HT This Day: June 13, 1948 -- Special: CBI- cell- to prosecute ex-PM
HT This Day: June 13, 1948 -- Special: CBI- cell- to prosecute ex-PM
By, New Delhi

Within days of his release from hospital, Union Home Minister Charan Singh has ordered setting up of a special prosecution wing in the Central Bureau of Investigation, to file criminal cases against Mrs Indira Gandhi and others on the basis of Shah Commission’s findings.

An inspector-general of police, three superintendents, nine deputy superintendents and 15 inspectors will constitute the *wing. They are being appointed within the next few days.

Honie Ministry sources today clarified the Government’s position on the follow up action on the Shah Commission’s reports by pointing out that action was being taken with the utmost speed. The action proposed involves registration of first Information reports (FIRs), detailed investigations and preparation of charge, sheets for prosecution in courts.

The special investigators are expected to register FIRs within a fortnight of their appointment. Within about six weeks of the registration of the criminal cases under the IPC and CrPC, investigations will be completed and charge-sheets will be framed on the basis of detailed investigations.

These investigations will relate to both cognisable and non-cognisable cases And the Government would have the power to arrest the persons concerned.

The investigating machinery will have adequate legal support. Legal officers will scrutinise the FIRs before they are registered ill the light of the reported insistence of the Prime Minister that any prosecution should be on the basis of fool-proof cases.

The statements recorded by various witnesses before the Shah commission are protected under the provisions of the Commissions of Inquiry Act. The investigating agency, therefore, would have to record statements afresh under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code and collect any additional evidence available be. fore prosecutions are launched.

The special wing will divide itself in twee groups for conducting investigations. One of the groups will handle cases of illegal arrests and detentions while another would deal with demolition cases. The remaining would be investigated by the third group.

In respect of officers against whom the commission has given adverse findings, the Home Ministry has written to the concerned cadre-controlling ministries or departments to initiate action like framing charge-sheets.

Home Ministry sources explained that though the Shah commission had collected a lot of evidence for its own inquiries, it would be necessary for the CBI to gather evidence under the Cr PC and in a manner that would be useful for preparation of the charge-sheets.

The Committee of Secretaries, headed by Cabinet Secretary N. K. Mukherji, has already pinpointed the specific findings of the Shah commission in respect of which Mrs Gandhi will be liable for criminal prosecution. It has also indicated the various sections of the IPC and CrPC under which these cases can be proceeded with.

Besides Mrs Gandhi, her son, Sanjay Gandhi, former Minister for Information and Broadcasting V. C. Shukla, former Minister of State for Finance Pranab Kumar Mukherjee and Dhirendra Brahmachari are also likely to face prosecution, according to informed.

Among officials likely to face disciplinary action are: Former CBI Director D. Sen, former Chairman of the Board of Direct Taxes Mr S. R. Mehta, former DIG of Delhi, Mr G. S. Bhinder, and Mr Navin Chawla, Secretary to the former Lt.-Governor of Delhi.

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