The Congress accused the BJP of stalling probe against corporate bigwigs, saying that when opposition leaders are “persecuted” by probe agencies, it is termed as investigative integrity, but when “suit-boot wallas” are arraigned, it becomes “investigative adventurism”.
The attack by the opposition party came following Union Minister Arun Jaitley’s advice to the CBI last week to avoid “adventurism” and concentrate only on the bull’s eye, after the probe agency named banking doyen K V Kamath and virtual who’s who of the sector for questioning in the alleged fraud case against former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari also questioned the alleged withdrawal of an SIT probe by the Uttar Pradesh government against businessman Arvind Goel and demanded an answer from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and “interim” Finance Minister Piyush Goyal.
Refering to Jaitley’s remarks, Tewari said: “It is not often that a very senior member of the government writes a blog virtually lambasting the investigative apparatus of indulging in investigative adventurism.” “When opposition leaders are persecuted, it is investigative integrity but when ‘suit-boot wallas’ are arraigned, it becomes investigative adventurism,” he said at a press conference.
Tewari alleged that the government has one standard when it comes to “protecting and patronising the suit-boot wallas” and relatives of officers and a completely different standard when these very investigative agencies are let loose to “falsely hound and persecute” opposition leaders.
Citing a media report and documentary “evidence”, Tewari said the allegation against Goel is that about 200 acres of land was allegedly purchased by using 30 companies which were ostensibly found to be shell companies.
First Adityanath ordered an investigation by an Special Investigative Team against Goel and a few days later withdrew the probe on the grounds that there is “no irregularity in these transactions and it does not require any further investigation and status-quo should be maintained because in the absence of any facts, the accused is facing acute mental harassment”, Tewari said.
“Now the first question which arises is that since when has investigation started to be withdrawn because the NDA-BJP government has become sensitive to something called mental harassment.
By all parameters or by all yardsticks they have actually done a Ph.D. in mental harassment over the past 56 months,” the Congress spokesperson said.
“Was this probe withdrawn because this gentleman, Goel, happens to be closely related to the current Chairperson of the Central Bureau of Direct Taxes,” he said.