The chief of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Ranjit Sinha has a penchant for controversy. His alleged comment on Ishrat Jahan case sparked a major political storm Saturday with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accusing the government of targeting Gujarat Chief Minister and the party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and his close aide Amit Shah. The Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) even demanded Sinha's resignation.
A Delhi newspaper on Saturday quoted Sinha as saying the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government would have been happy if Amit Shah was named as accused in the fake encounter case charge sheet.
"There were political expectations... The UPA government would have been very happy if we had charged Amit Shah... But we went strictly by evidence and found there was no prosecutable evidence against Shah," Sinha was quoted as saying to the paper.
Sinha, however, denied making such a statement. The probe agency issued a statement saying he was quoted out of context and unfairly.
"Director, CBI has been quoted unfairly and completely out of context. CBI is an impartial and an apolitical organisation. In the Ishrat Jahan case, CBI has done a fair investigation to the best of its ability," the statement said.
Not one to leave an opportunity to put the government on the mat, the BJP attacked the government all guns blazing. It claimed the CBI has consistently obliged the Congress-led UPA in its attempt to target Modi and Shah. Party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said that it is a very important statement, and that there was no prosecutable evidence even three years ago in Sohrabuddin's case.
Shah was questioned twice in connection with the fake encounter case by the agency despite being not named in the chargesheet.
JD (U) leader Ali Anwar lashed out at Sinha for his alleged comment and demanded to press charges against him. He also sought his resignation.
"It should come out how many accused he let off and how many were booked for pleasing his masters. An First Information Report (FIR) should be filed and case should be pursued against him," Anwar said.
Meanwhile Gujarat Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia termed Sinha's statement as unfortunate.
"It is unfortunate that CBI Director who enjoys so much of autonomy that his files cannot be seen by the officers of the UPA Government, let alone the ministers, is making such a statement," Modhwadia said.