Buta must go

The scandal has cast a shadow on Buta Singh.


Sarabjot was arrested by the CBI for allegedly taking a hefty bribe of Rs 1 crore for settling a case pending with the commission and he has revealed that his father knew of the transaction. Three others who were also involved in the deal have been arrested. The CBI has got tape-recorded conversations of Sarabjot Singh demanding the bribe in return for the favour which his father can grant. The suspicion that Sarabjot is involved in hawala deals and the recovery of unlicensed pistols from his residence add other dimensions to the case.

Buta Singh’s claim that the arrest is the result of a conspiracy to spoil his political future is difficult to accept. It might, though uncharitably, be observed that what he has got is an undistinguished past and not a future which anybody would be interested in destroying.

This is not the first time that charges have been made about Sarabjot Singh taking advantage of the positions held by his father. While such suspicions and charges remain what they are, there seems to be strong evidence of wrongdoing this time. The charge should be investigated thoroughly and a foolproof case presented before the court so that the guilty will be punished. Unfortunately the record of the CBI is not the best in such cases, which involve people in high positions or their kin. Buta Singh has been a senior leader of the Congress. But the party has done well to distance itself from him, by stating that the law should take its course in the matter.

Buta Singh should have resigned on moral grounds after his son’s arrest, especially after his name was mentioned to the CBI. But such gestures can hardly be expected from politicians of his kind.  His aggressive defence of his son shows that he has no such intention. But the commission of which he is the chairman is an important national body and the scandal has cast a shadow on its credibility. It is the government’s responsibility to remove that taint by asking Buta Singh to quit and wait for his son to clear his name, if he can.

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