Supreme Court’s Order – A Moral Victory for Mamta Banerjee
Dr Salim Khan | Caravan Daily
DOUBTLESSLY, the BJP’s lotus was behind the misadventure by CBI. At the instance of Modi Baba, a pack of 40 thieves tried in vain to raid the residence of West Bengal Police Chief. Sensing an opportunity to make political capital out of what was to be a coup d’ etat, Mamata Banerjee quickly jumped on the bandwagon.
The apparent attack on Rajeev Kumar was actually a tussle between Narendra Modi and Mamta Banerjee. Probably, the whole confusion in the matter emanated from the names. The moment one hears the word ‘Mamta’ one thinks in the direction of motherhood; however, as Mamta Banerjee never went into the trouble of marrying, the question of having children and motherhood doesn’t arise.
Similarly, the nomenclature, Central Bureau of Investigation makes one believe that it is an institution whose jurisdiction like the Central Government covers the length and breadth of India which is a gross misunderstanding. When one sees the historical background of the institution as available on its official website, the whole confusion dissipates.
CBI was formed in the backdrop of the second world war to curb corruption. Subsequently, besides the war, matters related to misappropriation in the Railways and other organizations were added to the scope and jurisdiction of the agency. Established in the year 1921, the tenure of the agency ended in 1946. Later, under Delhi Police Establishment Act of 1946, CBI was given the investigative powers.
However, it was stated that the jurisdiction and authority of CBI shall be restricted to the Union Territories, like Delhi, Chandigarh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands etc. In the light of this historical background and introduction, it becomes clear that CBI is not a nation-wide agency under the control of the central government and it cannot function outside the Union Territories without obtaining prior permission of the respective State governments. This is the reason when the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu stopped the agency from carrying out its activities in the State, he was not found to be violating any constitutional provision.
It is known that a federal structure exists in the country and the State governments have been made responsible to maintain law and order. Seen under this perspective, CBI was clearly violating constitutional provisions by trying to exercise its power without taking the State government in confidence. Not only it overstepped its jurisdiction but also tried to infringe upon the rights of the State government.
CBI might be right that despite sending three summons, Rajeev Kumar was not cooperating with them; however, it did not have the right to arrest the officer without a duly issued judicial warrant. Rajeev Kumar was not a fugitive that it needed to raid his residence in the midnight with a pack of 40 officers. The exercise was an attempt to humiliate the State government besides hurling a slur on a high ranking police officer reporting to the State government. Hence, it was a moral obligation on part of Mamta Banjerjee to support Rajeev Kumar and register State government’s protest against the aggression. It was also important to restore the esteem and honor of the State’s officer regardless of the political fallout.
The media which decried Mamta Banerjee over the arrest of the CBI officers should have considered the misuse and abuse of the institution by the central government. Conscientiously, it should ask self how much and how far the agency has been genuinely used to curb malpractice and misconduct. If the agency were to be focused on tackling corruption and delinquency, instead of Javed Ahmed, who had a very long experience of conducting investigation covering over 160 months to lead the agency, a totally inexperienced Rishi Kumar Shukla would not have been appointed its director. Further, many states are being ruled by BJP and its allies. Are they all honest and none of them has ever been accused of wrongdoing? From the time BJP has come into power, did the agency ever touch any of the party’s leader?
As long as there was even a distant possibility of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) joining hands with BJP, Mayawati was a saint and the moment she allied with Samajwadi Party (SP), both became an eyesore for CBI and their places were raided. In Bihar, until Nitish Kumar was with Lalu Yadav, CBI was vigorously investigating Srijan Scandal and when he joined hands with BJP, the issue went deep into the cold waters.
When Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy was with Mamta Banerjee, he was a delinquent in the eyes of CBI and the moment he joined BJP he became an upright person in the books of the agency. The same is the matter with Biswa Sharma as his name was struck off from the FIR after he joined BJP. Thus, color holds the sway and determines the character; those carrying saffron flag or living under it are the righteous and the ones under a green or a blue color umbrella are illicit and illegal. This way, malpractice doesn’t die; in fact, it gets uplifted and promoted.
In our beloved country, the extent of the Tsunami of corruption in public life could be gauged from the fact that the officers of the premier investigation agency lay accusation against each other of dishonesty. Ironically, instead of imposing punishments, the accused officers are just transferred to other departments. Obviously, they must be indulging in malpractice and misconduct at the instance of their masters.
The recently deposed chief of CBI, Alok Kumar and his deputy, Rakesh Asthana accused each other of involvement in high-level corruption. If there were to be any truth in those charges, they should have been arrested and tried in a court of law. However, if the charges were to be wrong and malicious, the person who had laid such charges must have been tried for libel and punished. Similarly, if the charges raised by Subramaniam Swamy against Nageswar Rao were to be true, he should never have been made the acting director of the agency and if they were to be wrong, Swamy should have been sent behind the bars to join the likes of Asaram Bapu.
By projecting CBI as a sacred cow, the arrest of its officer was blown out of proportion when such matters are quite normal. On August 18, 2017, Guwahati Police had arrested deputy superintendent of CBI, Pearson Shadang for trying to outrage the modesty of a woman who happened to be the wife of an IRS Officer. The ACP of the local police station stated that the position of the culprit would not stop the police to take action as their work was to investigate the matter in a fair manner.
CBI officers too arrest other governmental officers including the ones from the IB officers as they did in the case of Alok Kumar where they had arrested the officers guarding the house of Alok Kumar during his dramatic ouster. The Police too does the same and arrest one another when found to be guilty as happened in a case that occurred in Supaul district of Bihar where two policemen from Delhi police were arrested. The case is very interesting.
An assistant sub inspector, S. Dutt, and a head Constable, Mukesh Kumar of Delhi Police reached Supaul district in search of a girl who was said to have been kidnapped and they caught her along with the boy accused of abducting her. During the scuffle, the people of the neighborhood noticed that the policemen were drunk and they informed about it to the concerned local authorities. The policemen were made to undergo medical test and it was found that they were indeed drunk. They were arrested and held in judicial custody. Actually, the boy and the girl had married willingly and were living happily. It was the father of the girl who had falsely accused the boy of kidnapping and arranged to send the police to arrest the boy. This event could be related to the Kolkata episode. Akin to the charge of kidnapping of the girl which was found to be baseless, the CBI officers too were just loyally fulfilling the wishes of their masters in laying a trap to arrest the police chief to disgrace the state government.
Last week, Modi ji was vehemently criticizing the chief minister in a rally in West Bengal when he had to shorten his speech of 40 minutes into 14 minutes due to commotion in the midst. The sizeable crowd that had assembled raised his resolve to complete his mission and he wished to have Yogi Ji destroy the Lanka of Mamta by his half cut burning tail.
Mamta Banerjee disallowed the chopper of Yogi Ji to land. Frustrated by that act, Modi ji thought to extract revenge in another manner and dispatched CBI team. In response, the West Bengal government arrested the CBI officers and detained them in a jail. Mamta sat along with her cabinet members on a Dharna and overshadowed the media. Like a crying baby, the Central Government knocked the door of the Supreme Court to wail and complain.
The apex court wiped the tears of both. While it ordered Rajeev Kumar to cooperate with the CBI, the court stopped CBI’s attempts to arrest the police chief. The decision was a moral victory for Mamta Banerjee. After this beating on the hard turf, Modi ji needs to understand that as Indira Gandhi was India’s Durga Ma, it is Mamta Banerjee now who is the Bengal’s Durga Ma. In short, like a hungry tigress, Mamta Banerjee has torn apart her opponents.
The views expressed here are that of the author and Caravan Daily does not necessarily subscribe to them.