Does Prime Minister control the CBI, asks Supreme Court?

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Supreme Court on Tuesday asked if the prime minister was controlling the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

While hearing a case related to the sacked Gujarat IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who had in 2011 sought a CBI probe into allegation of hacking the email account of the then Gujarat additional advocate general Tushar Mehta, is now seeking the SIT probe, citing change in political dispensation at the centre. 

“You mean to say that prime minister of the country is controlling the CBI,” a bench of Chief Justice H.L.Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra asked the senior counsel Indira Jaising, appearing for Bhatt.

Responding in the affirmative, Jaising told the court that the prime minister had administrative control over the CBI and to buttress her contention, said that Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah was discharged by the trial court in triple murder case but CBI the chose not to file an appeal against it.

Pointing to the dismissal of Gujarat cadre Indian Police Service officer Bhatt by the central government on August 19 for a minor issue, Jaising said that disproportionate nature of punishment of sacking shows the victimisation of her client.

Telling the court that Bhatt has no confidence in Gujarat Police to fairly investigate the case, Jaising said: “We don’t trust Gujarat Police nor we trust Gujarat Police to do a fair investigation.”

Bhatt feels that that he was being victimised because he made public the alleged meeting that the then chief minister Narendra Modi had with his officers soon after Godhra train carnage wherein he allegedly told the officer to let people vent their anger.

The apex court had in 2011 issued notice on Bhatt’s plea for CBI probe into the email hacking case. At that point of time, the Congress-led UPA government was in power.

Bhatt had said that he and Mehta are “very close family friends for last two decades”. In September 2009 he was asked by Mehtato access his e-mail account to check confirmation of the accommodation for their trip to Goa.

It was then, Bhatt had said, that he saw the “unusual mails” indicating “unholy nexus and illegal complicity between high functionaries of State of Gujarat”.

Mehta, who is now an additional solicitor general, had filed an FIR against Bhatt, accusing him of hacking his email account.

(IANS)

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