SC slams CBI over Soren's relatives

 Irked over the CBI’s failure to arrest an absconding legislator wanted in a horse-trading case in Jharkhand, the Supreme Court has wondered if the premier investigating agency was only interested in catching “soft targets” and raised questions over its autonomy.

A bench of justices A K Patnaik and F M I Kalifullah castigated the CBI for adopting “selective” approach in arresting the accused in the incident, which occurred during the Rajya Sabha elections in 2012 and asked it to explain its failure to arrest MLA Sita Soren, daughter-in-law of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha chief Sibu Soren.

“Sita Soren and two others are absconding. This is absolutely selective. Do you say the CBI can’t arrest them? You catch hold of soft targets, then oppose their bail,” the bench said.
Hearing the bail plea of accused Raj Kumar Agrawal, from whose car Rs 2.15 crore was recovered during the elections, the court asked the probe agency to explain within two weeks why the other accused, including Soren, could not be arrested.

“What is this approach? What is the meaning of grant of autonomy? Is this autonomy? That’s why, we observe the CBI can also become Frankenstein,” the bench observed.  
Senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for Agrawal, contended that the CBI adopted an unfair and partisan approach during the probe as it filed closure report against 18 other MLAs while Soren was “gloriously absconding”.

He claimed that the money recovered was well-accounted and belonged to the petitioner’s son-in-law.

Additional Solicitor General K V Viswanathan opposed his arguments, contending that the petitioner faced charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The court, however, asked him to explain the agency’s failure to arrest Soren.

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