Blatant Silencing Of Voices Against Corruption

It seems that in politics, responsibility and seriousness have ended. About six months ago when questions arose for the first time on the coal scam, the Prime Minister made a bold statement that if there was even a slight splash on him from the scam, he would resign not only from the post of the Prime Minister, but would retire from public life as well. This statement was in fact a Prime Minister’s statement which gave the message that the Prime Minister of India was not a part of any scam.
Exactly one month after this came a comment from the Supreme Court that there had been a coal scam. We had expected that the Prime Minister would give some reply to this comment, but the Prime Minister was silent. After precisely fifteen days, the CBI presented its interim inquiry report to the apex court on which the Supreme Court asked whether anyone had seen this report or whether any changes had been made in it? The Attorney General told the Supreme Court that neither has anyone seen this report nor have any changes been made in it. The Supreme Court told the Attorney General that this same thing should be said by the CBI in an affidavit and from here began the disclosures.
Rounds of meetings began in the Government and there was brainstorming on what answer the Supreme Court should be given. Many ways of giving an answer were thought of, but the CBI Director did not agree with those ways. One, this investigation was being conducted under the supervision of the Supreme Court; two, the proof and evidence of what changes should be made in the report of the CBI, which lines should be removed and which paras should be added was on e-mail. The Supreme Court had already said that the inquiry report should not be shown to anyone and it was this fear which was in the mind of the CBI Director — that if he gave an affidavit in the Supreme Court then it would be tantamount to telling a lie in the Supreme Court.
He gave an affidavit and disclosed everything in it. He said that the report had been seen by the Law Minister, the Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s office and the Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Coal and changes had also been made in it. Not only this, he also stated that the Attorney General himself had also seen the report. He presented both the reports in the Supreme Court – the one the CBI had prepared and the other in which the Law Minister and the Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Coal had made changes. Along with the Supreme Court, the entire country too felt that there was some big bungling or deception was afoot otherwise why would an attempt be made to change the report. The Prime Minister was at the peak of keeping a fast of silence (‘maun’).

The Attorney General’s is a Constitutional post and he is a part of the country’s judicial system, but when the Attorney General himself gives a false statement before a judge in the Supreme Court and does not resign, it can be understood that conditions have deteriorated to the extent and level of shamelessness.

The disappearance of files means the disappearance of proof. And the responsibility will come on someone or the other. If a decision to make them disappear had not been taken at the highest level, an FIR would have been lodged by now and the Government would have informed the Supreme Court along with an FIR that the files were missing. But on its part, the Government gave no such information to the Supreme Court.

The Attorney General’s is a Constitutional post and he is a part of the country’s judicial system, but when the Attorney General himself gives a false statement before a judge in the Supreme Court and does not resign, it can be understood that conditions have deteriorated to the extent and level of shamelessness.
It was after seeing this report of the CBI that the Supreme Court made the now famous comment that the CBI was like a caged parrot which would repeat whatever its master said. On this the CBI clarified that they were a part of the Government and it has to take its guidelines from the Government. The Supreme Court was very surprised by this attitude of the CBI.
Now came the issue of files. Those files which are directly related to the allocation of coal blocks and which have the comments and signatures of the Coal Minister in the form of the Prime Minister disappeared from the offices of the Coal Ministry. When the CBI investigation is on, when the Supreme Court is taking an interest in this investigation, the disappearance of these files raises suspicion of criminal activity. These files were deliberately made to disappear. In the entire North Block and South Block sensors have been installed. Cameras are in position where important files are kept. In such a situation the disappearance of the files creates a suspicion that the decision to make these files disappear must have been taken at the highest level. Perhaps the intention to mislead the Supreme Court may also have been behind it.
The Supreme Court showed strong displeasure at this situation and asked whether an FIR had been filed on the disappearance of the files. The Supreme Court directed the CBI that either within 15 days it should search for the files or file an FIR. An FIR means that all those who had links to these files have to be questioned, which includes the Prime Minister who was the also Minister of Coal at that time. The curious thing is that both the Prime Minister and the current Minister of Coal said ‘with courage’ that taking care of the files is not their responsibility. This means that the responsibility is that of some upper division clerk. It is now upto the CBI and finally the Supreme Court to see that if the responsibility of these important files is not that of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Coal, then whoever’s responsibility it was, at whose bidding did he or she make these files disappear.
The disappearance of files means the disappearance of proof. And the responsibility will come on someone or the other. If a decision to make them disappear had not been taken at the highest level, an FIR would have been lodged by now and the Government would have informed the Supreme Court along with an FIR that the files were missing. But on its part, the Government gave no such information to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court is very annoyed at such a situation and has told the CBI in clear, strict terms that the full investigation must be completed by December. The Supreme Court has not considered the issue of the disappearance of the files as being true. It has said search for the files and if the files have been destroyed, many copies of the files must be available. A copy of the missing files is available with the Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) and the CAG. But they have both said that nobody has asked us for the files.
Who knows what will happen in December. Who knows either what will emerge in the coal scam. But we all know what is happening today. If such important files, which have a relationship with the Supreme Court can so easily disappear, then files connected with our country’s intelligence, files of strategic and economic significance, could be going even more easily for a walk to Pakistan or China or to Russia and America and we would not be getting any information in this regard. Perhaps this is why arms brokers and agents can so easily be seen wandering in the corridors of South Block and the investigative inquiry of scams – any scam – doesn’t yield or lead to any results.
A question does arise in the mind. Whether it was for such a free India that Chandra Shekhar Azad was shot and Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were hanged. The lakhs of people like them who sacrificed their lives for a free India, in that free India those on whom today rests the responsibility of stopping and ending corruption have become the champions of the corruption marathon. And the irony is that those who raise their voice against this situation — today’s Government and the Opposition plan together how to silence those voices. Those who are not ashamed of ruining the sacrifices made by Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev and Mahatma Gandhi, for them it is but natural to derive loathsome happiness from attempting to silence the voices raised against corruption.

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