BJP says Supreme Court to decide if charges against Union minister Haribhai politically motivated

Supreme Court. Photograph:( Reuters )

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 21, 2018, 08.31 AM (IST)

The BJP said on Tuesday the Supreme Court is the right authority to examine whether the sensational charges brought by CBI DIG Manish Kumar Sinha against a Union minister and top officials has any substantive basis or is “politically motivated”.

The feud within the CBI turned murkier on Monday with Sinha dragging the names of NSA Ajit Doval, Union minister Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary and CVC K V Chowdhury over alleged attempts to interfere in the probe against the agency’s Special Director Rakesh Asthana, who has also been divested of his duties and sent on leave by the government along with Director Alok Kumar Verma.

BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said the matter is “sub judice”, but took objection to “somebody serving in an organisation twisting the name of that organisation itself”.

When asked by reporters about the issue, he said, “The matter is sub judice. The Supreme Court is hearing the matter on a regular basis. The court apparently itself said there is no urgency to hear this particular complaint. Therefore, it is not proper for me to make a political comment.”

Sinha, who was probing the FIR against Asthana, the CBI’s number two, and important cases like the PNB scam involving Nirav Modi, made a litany of sensational allegations in his petition before the Supreme Court that sought an urgent hearing for quashing his transfer to Nagpur.

“The court itself did not see any merit or emergency in the allegations being made. Therefore, I think the right authority to examine this complaint is the court itself. Whether this statement is politically motivated or has any substantive basis is something that the court will examine,” he said.

“But, prima facie, I have a strong objection to somebody serving in an organisation twisting the name of that organisation itself… Honestly, in my opinion, that deserves disciplinary action,” Rao said.

“I think no individual serving in an organisation should have the audacity to really target the organisation. You can always make allegations about individuals, make statements, offer evidence. But, trying to lower the stature of the organisation itself, to my mind, is simply not done. It’s a breach of discipline as far as my understanding goes,” he said.

A furious Supreme Court on Tuesday told all the parties in a case involving the CBI’s top brass they did not “deserve” a hearing in the light of the purported leak of the agency chief’s reply to the CVC’s probe findings against him and making public the allegations by its senior officer Manish Kumar Sinha against top officials.

K V Chowdhury did not respond to queries when his reaction was sought while Doval, the National Security Advisor, was not immediately available for comments. The union minister termed the allegations as baseless and malicious.

Story highlights

The BJP said on Tuesday the Supreme Court is the right authority to examine whether the sensational charges brought by CBI DIG Manish Kumar Sinha against a Union minister and top officials have any substantive basis or is "politically motivated".