Millennium Post

Our central bureau of double-dealing

It seems the top probing body of this country is also one of the chief bastions of dissemblance, both monetary and political. Despite being at the receiving end of scathing criticism from the Supreme Court only last year, it is evident that the CBI has not learnt its lessons. Even as reports of a former CBI director hobnobbing with a scam-ridden meat export firm, AMQ Agro India, owned by Moin Qureshi, are doing the rounds in the political and media circles, the Bureau has declared that it wants to wrap up investigation in the Niira Radia case. This, in spite of the fact that extreme instances of corporate lobbying were discovered in the conversations that linked Radia to a host of top corporates, journalists, politicians and other middlemen who had stakes in the 2G telecom scam. A closer look at the Bureau’s excessive indulgences would establish that far from being unconnected episodes in the agency’s chequered history, the two are equally symptomatic of an increasingly self-corrupting CBI. The revelations in the Qureshi case indicate that the businessman not only holds disproportionate assets, but might be hiding substantial riches on behalf of others, including government officials, among whom a former CBI director features prominently. Income tax raids and probes have brought to light a slew of monetary frauds, unexplained stashes of hard cash as well as foreign bank accounts and properties in Dubai, all belonging to Moin Qureshi, whose company, worth approximately Rs 167 crore, has experienced inexplicable amount of profit in the last few years, far overshooting the average turnover in the past seven to eight years. Needlessly to say, Qureshi’s role as a middleman in sensitive deals, denoted by documents seized from his posh South Delhi office, and the hefty kickbacks that have been traced to his Dubai bank accounts, all point towards powerful bureaucrats being hand in glove with this tainted businessman.

How can we trust an organisation with probing corruption cases if it itself is neck-deep in corruption? Why should we believe the CBI when it says it didn’t find any incriminating evidence in the 14 preliminary enquiries registered in the Niira Radia cases? It is worth mentioning here that the Bureau was pulled up by the apex court in August 2013 for not probing the ‘criminality’ angle reflected in the call intercepts. Yet, despite precedents, the CBI has once again indicated that it has washed its hands off the investigation, even though 2G telecom scam is easily one of the biggest scams to rock the nation and rob the public exchequer of at least Rs 1.7 lakh crore in lost revenues. It’s not for nothing that the Supreme Court had come down heavily against the Bureau, dubbing it a ‘caged parrot’ dancing to the tunes of its political masters. Shockingly enough, the current CBI director Ranjit Sinha too has made a reputation for naming people and high-profile firms in scams such as the Coalgate only to give them clean chit later, effectively draining the agency of any semblance of credibility. Clearly, the CBI has a ‘reputation’ to maintain.
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