The removal of former director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Amar Pratap Singh as member of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is a welcome move. Singh figures prominently in the not too eminent list of CBI directors, who helped turn the prime probe organisation into what Singh’s infamous successor Ranjit Sinha once famously called a ‘caged parrot’. It’s being said that Singh was removed because he had a chargesheet filed against BJP president Amit Shah.
The chargesheet, however, was recently turned down by the court, though how that happened is another matter. Singh’s misdemenour is greater than just playing subservient to his political masters, as some news channels would like us to believe. About a year ago, the British Revenue Intelligence Authority had alerted the Indian Income Tax Authority that an Indian businessman was transferring huge sums of money from Dubai to London. On investigation, the businessman turned out to be notorious hawala trader Moin Qureshi. Further probe showed that Qureshi acted as a middleman in several cases, involving the investigative agency.
A number of lockers belonging to Qureshi were seized and opened. Its contents showed that Qureshi enjoyed a cosy relationship with AP Singh and one powerful political functionary. It exposed a whole mechanism in place for providing reprieve to law violators for a certain consideration. This practice is suspected to have continued even during the tenure of Singh’s successor Ranjit Sinha, who met several of those booked by the CBI at his residence rather than his office.
The Income Tax department has claimed to possess over 500 hours of telephonic transcripts, some of which pointed to links between Qureshi and AP Singh. The well connected Qureshi also had close links with the last CBI director Ranjit Sinha, who is under the apex court’s lens for meddling in the 2G spectrum allotment case. With AP Singh’s removal from the UPSC, a growing demand from social activists for the arrest of former CBI chief would soon receive a boost and propel the case towards its logical end.