Says PM removed CBI Director to stop him from investigating fighter jet deal
The Opposition parties on Wednesday unleashed a sharp attack on the Government over the CBI mess with the Congress alleging that the CBI Director has been divested of his power to preempt a possible CBI investigation into the dubious Rafale fighet jet deal, while West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged the agency has become the BJP’s policing agency.
“The PM removed the CBI Director to stop him from investigating Rafale. Mr 56 broke the law when he bypassed CJI & LoP. Mr Modi, Rafale is a deadly aircraft with a superb radar. You can run, but you can’t hide from it,” Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
“The Prime Minister’s message is very clear that whoever comes near Rafale (issue) will be removed, wiped out,” the Congress chief charged. “The country and the Constitution are in danger,” he claimed.
The Congress also alleged the Modi Government and senior BJP leaders, scared over the Rafale issue, have implemented the “Gujarat model” at the Centre and in the CBI.
Senior lawyer and Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said the CVC has no power to interfere in removal, appointment or reappointment, and is a supervisory body. Singhvi also alleged the Government violated the CBI Act with its move to remove Verma. Former Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said the removal of the CBI director was “illegal, unethical and unconstitutional”.
Congress leader Manish Tewari said according to the Lokpal Act and the Supreme Court judgment in the Jain Hawala case, the CBI Director has a fixed tenure of two years.
BSP president Mayawati blamed the Centre for the state of affairs in the CBI and said other institutions are also facing similar problems because of the wrong policies being pursued by the Government. “More than the officials, it is the Central Government which is responsible for the problems in the CBI,” Mayawati said in a statement.
She said the Centre’s “vindictive, casteist and communal policies” have put not only the CBI, but also other agencies under similar threat. Cases like those involving Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi and the Rafale deal are blots on the BJP-led Government’s rule and they have not been probed properly, she said. However, she added, the BJP misuses official machinery to target anti-BJP parties and institutions.
CPI’s national secretary D Raja said there is also speculation that the goings-on in the CBI have something to do with the Rafale scam. He said, “What is happening in the CBI is like a coup that has shocked the entire nation. The CBI’s credibility stands completely destroyed. It is happening under the nose of the Prime Minister.”