Friday, May 17, 2013

Functional Autonomy TO CBI

We will give CBI functional autonomy: Finance Minister P Chidambaram to NDTV

London: Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said that the expert panel formed by the government will work towards giving CBI functional autonomy, but at the same time warned that accountability is important.

"We will give the CBI functional autonomy. But all over the world - all bodies are accountable to somebody - they are accountable to executive, they are accountable to the legislature, they are accountable to the courts. I think what we have to ensure is that no one interferes with the investigations of the CBI," Mr Chidambaram told NDTV in London.

The Supreme Court had last week castigated the government for interfering with the CBI's investigations in the coal scam. A livid court even observed that the agency is a "caged parrot that has many masters." After the severe reprimand, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh constituted a Group of Ministers, headed by Mr Chidambaram, to decide the plan of action to secure the autonomy of the CBI.
Speaking on the issue of corruption, Mr Chidambaram said that it is not only India's story; in every country corruption allegations are common.

"One minister resigned not because of corruption but because of an allegation that he interfered with an investigation. The other minister resigned on moral grounds, there is no charge against him yet, no evidence against him yet," Mr Chidambaram said while speaking about the resignations of Pawan Bansal and Ashwani Kumar.

While Mr Bansal resigned as Railways Minister after the arrest of his nephew Vijay Singla for allegedly accepting Rs. 90 lakh for fixing promotion in Railway Board, Mr Kumar quit as Law Minister in the wake of a raging controversy over his vetting the CBI probe report in the coal block allocations scam.

When asked about next year's general elections and his reluctance to put himself forward as a prime ministerial candidate, Mr Chidambaram said, "I am quite happy if you call it lack of ambition. So let's say lack of ambition."

CBI arrests Coalgate scam investigator on graft charge

New Delhi, May 17, 2013, (PTI) :
In a swift operation, CBI tonight arrested its own Superintendent of Police, who was heading the Coalgate probe team, an inspector and two others for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 7 lakh from a businessman outside its headquarters here to settle a land dispute.

CBI's internal vigilance apprehended Inspector Rajesh while receiving the bribe on behalf of SP Vivek Dutt who was Chief Investigator in the coal blocks allocation scam case.

"We had information about such a dealing and we continiued to maintain surveillance on them. After monitoring them for pretty long, today they were arrested for taking the bribe", CBI Director Ranjit Sinha told PTI.

He said CBI would inform the Supreme Court soon about the developments since the apex court had ruled that no official associated with the probe into the scam will be transferred without informing it.

CBI sources said the businessman, who gave the bribe, and another person party to the land dispute were also arrested.

They said the agency got a tip-off that Dutt, who was posted in its Economic Offences Wing, had allegedly struck a deal to settle a land dispute in return for illegal gratification. They said Dutt had allegedly used his influence with Delhi Police officials to withdraw a petition from an ongoing land dispute case, which had benefitted the businessman.

The vigilance officials got the tip off that the alleged deal would materialise this evening and informed the CBI Director about it who gave the go-ahead. The agency's internal vigilance then arrested Rajesh when the money was changing hands. Later, Dutt was also taken into custody.

The agency sources said the bribery case had nothing to do with the ongoing coal blocks allocation scam probe in which Dutt was the Chief Investigator.

The operation was carried out on a day when senior officials of CBI from across the country had congregated at the agency headquarters for their quarterly zonal meeting. "My aim while taking over as CBI Director was to ensure zero tolerance of corruption", Sinha said.

Anbumani illegally allowed admission in medical college: CBI

CBI today told a Delhi court that former union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, who along with others, is accused in a graft case, had "illegally" allowed an Indore-based medical college to proceed with the admissions without having sufficient faculty and clinical material.

During arguments on framing of charges, the agency told Special CBI Judge Ravinder Kaur that Ramadoss, in conspiracy with the co-accused, had given approval in permitting Index Medical College Hospital and Research Centre(IMCHRC) to take admission for second year despite the fact that Medical Council of India (MCI) and a committee, appointed by the Supreme Court, recommended against it.

CBI prosecutor V K Sharma said IMCHRC was not having sufficient faculty and clinical material required as per MCI norms but despite that Ramadoss granted it permission to take admission for a second batch of MBBS students for academic year 2008-09
"Ramadoss illegally renewed the approval for IMCHRC," the prosecutor said adding co-accused Suresh Singh Bhadoria, Chairman of IMCHRC, was in the ministry on the day when the minister gave his approval for it.

The agency said that after MCI inspectors had clearly said that permission may not be granted to IMCHRC due to the deficiencies, a central team was constituted by the accused to obtain a favourable report for the purpose of issuing permission for renewal of admission in second year.

The prosecutor said the central inspection team was not told what they have to do and only vague instructions were given to them.

CBI concluded its arguments on framing of charges and the defence counsel would now advance their contentions in the case tomorrow.

Ramadoss and nine others were chargesheeted by CBI on April 27 last year in the corruption case.
The 36-page charge sheet had named the PMK leader and others, including two senior government officials and two doctors of Safdarjung Hospital here and five persons associated with the private hospital in Indore which allegedly gained "pecuniary advantage" in 2008.

Besides Ramadoss, who was the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare from May, 2004 till April 2009 in UPA-I, CBI had chargesheeted K V S Rao, Director in Cabinet Secretariat, Sudershan Kumar, Section Officer of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MHFW) and Dr J S Dhupia and Dr Dipendra Kumar Gupta of Safdarjung Hospital.

Bhadoria, Dr S K Tongia, ex-Dean of the college, Dr K K Saxena, Medical Director of the College, Nitin Gothwal and Dr Pawan Bhambani were also chargesheeted by the agency.

Ramadoss, Rao, Kumar and the two doctors of Safdarjung Hospital were chargesheeted under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC along with offences under Prevention of Corruption Act.

Bhadoria and the other four have been charged with offences of cheating and forgery. Bhadoria has also been charged under Prevention of Corruption Act.
According to CBI, the accused had entered into a conspiracy in which IMCHRC gained pecuniary advantage in the form of grant of permission for admission of second batch of MBBS students for the academic year 2008-09 ignoring MCI's recommendations.

The agency had said Rao was the then Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2008 and all files related to grant of permission or renewal of a medical college used to go to the competent authority through him while Sudershan Kumar was the section officer in the ministry.

CBI, in its charge sheet, had said Dhupia and Gupta were the inspectors of the central team who "obtained hospitality from IMCHRC and they failed to verify the records and persons produced before them, thus showing better facilities and higher number of faculty members."

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