Serious credibility crisis in CBI: Congress

Serious credibility crisis in CBI: Congress

Cong blames the Centre

New Delhi: Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot addresses a press conference, at AICC HQ in New Delhi, Monday, Oct 22, 2018. (PTI Photo)

The Congress on Monday said there is a serious credibility crisis in the CBI with its top officers accusing each of massive corruption and blamed "vested interests" within the government for bringing the agency to "such a pass".

Terming the issue "very serious", Congress leader Sachin Pilot accused the government of interference in the CBI and asked why it was silent on the issue.

"How do we trust the CBI to look at corruption issues when their top people are themselves involved and allegations are flying thick and fast? The fact that it has reached this point tells you how long and how deep the rot may be within this government," Pilot told reporters at the Congress headquarters.

The CBI’s top officers are accusing each other of massive corruption, he said, questioning the sanctity and the credibility of the government and the CBI to function in an "honest, unbiased transparent way".

"So there are serious credibility issues and I think there are vested interests within the government and within CBI that have brought this agency to such a pass," Pilot said.

As far as the internal functioning of the CBI is concerned, it is apparent that there is "power play and a blame game going on", he said.

Earlier in the day, Congress president Rahul Gandhi alleged that the CBI is being used as a "weapon of political vendetta" under the Modi government and said the premier investigation agency is "at war with itself".

Taking to Twitter, he cited a media report naming the Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) second in command Rakesh Asthana as an accused in a bribery case.

"The PM's blue-eyed boy, Gujarat cadre officer, of Godra SIT fame, infiltrated as No. 2 into the CBI, has now been caught taking bribes," Gandhi tweeted.

"Under this PM, the CBI is a weapon of political vendetta. An institution in terminal decline that's at war with itself," he said.

The Congress has been attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the appointment of Asthana as CBI special director.

In an unprecedented move, the agency has booked its special director for allegedly receiving bribes from middlemen to give relief to a businessman being probed by him in a case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi, officials had said Sunday.

On Monday, officials said the CBI arrested its Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar in connection with bribery allegations involving Asthana.

Kumar, who was earlier the investigation officer in a case involving Qureshi, has been arrested on the allegations of forgery in recording the statement of Sathish Sana, who had alleged to have paid bribes to get relief in the case, they said.

The CBI has alleged that Kumar fabricated a statement as an "afterthought... to corroborate the baseless allegations made by Asthana against CBI Director Alok Verma to the CVC (Central Vigilance Commissioner)".

Pilot said the kind of allegations being made at the top level of the CBI are very alarming and something is certainly wrong somewhere.

He said the government is not willing to come out clean on what is going on within the premier investigative agency.

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