The Congress on Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “pressuririsng” the CBI to not carry out proper investigation into the alleged staged shootout case of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, in which BJP President Amit Shah was discharged by a lower court in December 2014.
“Before coming to power in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi always questioned the impartiality of the CBI,” Congress leader Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh told media here.
He said that in the last three and half years, the way in which the “CBI has been politically used and controlled by the Prime Minister’s Office is visible to every one in the country”.
Hitting out at the investigative agency, Singh said, “It is unprecedented in the country’s judicial history that the CBI has refused to file an appeal in a case involving a president of the ruling political party as an accused.”
The Congress leader was referring to the Special CBI court decision of discharging the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President in the 2005 fake encounter case.
“And now the CBI is opposing a petition which challenges a politically motivated decision not to challenge a lower court order discharging Shah,” he alleged.
“These two instances bring out the stark truth of direct interference of the Prime Minister using CBI as a tool to defeat the ends of justice,” the Congress leader alleged.
The Congress leader said that in September 2012 the Supreme Court moved the trial to Mumbai and directed that the trial be heard by the same judge from start to finish.
“But when the BJP came to power in May 2014, within a month in contravention to the Supreme Court’s orders, J.T. Utpat was transferred on June 25, 2014 through an administrative order.
He said that after Utpat was transferred, B.H. Loya came at his place and he died on December 1, 2014.
He said that the death of Judge Loya has raised a number of questions and it also raises eyebrow on the government. “Questions has been raised against the ruling party’s President as three judges has been appointed in that case,” he said.
Firing salvos at Modi, Singh said, “If you don’t have any fear then why aren’t you allowing the case and investigation to proceed?”
“Why is the PM directing the CBI to not carry out proper investigation in the case? Why is he pressurising the CBI?” he questioned.
The Congress leader’s remarks came a day after the CBI in Bombay High Court opposed a PIL filed by the Bombay Lawyers Association over a Special CBI court judgement of December 30, 2014 discharging Shah in the fake encounter case as “illegal, arbitrary and mala fide”.
Sohrabuddin Shaikh, whom the Gujarat Police claimed was a terrorist, along with his wife Kauser Bi was killed in an alleged fake encounter by the Gujarat ATS in November 2005.
The CBI took over the investigation in February 2010 and filed its charge sheet in July the same year against 23 accused, including Shah, who at that time was Minister of State for Home in Gujarat.
The trial court over a period of time discharged several accused in the case, including three IPS officers.