Rafale Scam: PIL Challenges the Removal of CBI Director Illegally by Modi Govt

#Mera_PM_Chor_Hai. Photo: Twitter
#Mera_PM_Chor_Hai. Photo: Twitter

The NGO Common Cause – through advocate Prashant Bhushan – has filed the PIL to get the government orders quashed while allowing Verma to continue his service.

By Rakesh Raman

A public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the Supreme Court of India has challenged the removal of CBI Director Alok Verma who was abruptly asked by the Modi government to go on leave.

It is said that Verma was trying to probe the Rafale deal in which it is alleged that corruption worth crores of rupees has been committed by the Modi government. It is also alleged that PM Modi himself is involved in this criminal act.

Earlier this month, former BJP ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, and lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan had filed a complaint with the CBI, urging the agency to register an FIR against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former defence minister Manohar Parrikar.

The complaint alleges that Modi and Parrikar have committed a number of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, in the course of the April 2015 decision to purchase 36 Rafale aircraft from Dassault Aviation. The complaint was handed over to Alok Verma, director of the CBI, who is now removed by the Modi government in a hasty, illegal manner.

[ The Integrity Bulletin Launched to Cover Corruption Issues ]

The complaint states that Modi – who is a public servant – misused his position as PM of India to give undue benefit to his close associate Anil Ambani who is the Chairman of Reliance ADA group of companies.

“With 46 documents as annexures, it makes an unanswerable case for prosecution of PM Modi, Ambani, and co-conspirators under the Prevention of Corruption Act,” Prashant Bhushan said.

The opposition political party Congress also had submitted a detailed complaint about corruption in Rafale deal to India’s top anti-corruption organization Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

It is alleged that PM Modi has caused a loss of over Rs. 35,000 crore (about US$ 5 billion) to public funds to benefit his businessman friend Anil Ambani.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi said Wednesday that CBI Director Alok Verma was collecting papers related to Modi’s Rafale corruption and he was forced to go on leave. “The country and the Constitution are under attack,” he said in his tweet in Hindi.

In order to stop any investigation in the Rafale deal, the Modi government in a late-night decision Wednesday had ordered Verma to proceed on leave. In a weak defence, the government said Wednesday that it has asked the CBI officers to go on leave with recommendation from the CVC, which, in fact, works tightly under the control of the Modi government.

Today, the NGO Common Cause – through advocate Prashant Bhushan – filed the PIL to get the government orders quashed while allowing Verma to continue his service.

The PIL petition also has demanded the cancellation of the appointment orders of M Nageshwar Rao who was made the interim Director of CBI to replace Verma.

The petition further prayed for the removal of Rakesh Asthana who was made the Special Director of CBI by the Modi government despite his dubious service record. It has sought the constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the corruption allegations against CBI officers.

The petition was mentioned before the Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi who has asked for details of the case.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.

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