■ 2G spectrum scam: A special CBI court acquitted DMK MP Kanimozhi, A Raja and others citing lack of evidence produced by the prosecuting agency. “I waited for seven years awaiting someone with some legally admissible evidence, but in vain,” the judge said.
■ Aarushi Talwar murder case: The Allahabad High Court acquitted Rajesh and Nupur Talwar for their daughter’s murder, again because of lack of enough evidence, and blamed the CBI for shoddy investigation.
■ Fodder scam: Although the CBI managed to get RJD strongman Lalu Prasad convicted, seven other accused got acquitted in the case, including former Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra.
In fact, shoddy CBI work is resulting in a massive rise in the number of acquittals, mostly involving corruption.
In 2017 alone, as many as 755 accused were acquitted from the 538 cases registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act, while 184 cases were dismissed by the courts across the country.
Data from 2014 to November 2017 reinforces this trend at the trial court level. In as many as in 32% cases, the CBI had to face tough questions for filing cases and lack of evidence to prove the case.
2017 also saw one of the biggest acquittals when a special CBI court acquitted DMK MP Kanimozhi, A Raja and 34 others in the 2G spectrum scam citing the lack of evidence by the prosecuting agencies.
Expressing concern over the way the evidence was produced before him in the case, the judge in his order said, “For the last about seven years, on all working days, summer vacation included, I religiously sat in the open court from 10 am to 5 pm, awaiting someone with some legally admissible evidence in his possession, but all in vain…”
According to legal experts, in corruption cases, courts can only rely on the evidence produced by investigating agency. Without sufficient evidence, the court has no option but to dismiss such cases.
“The trend of acquittal is disturbing,” senior advocate B S Chaturvedi told The Sunday Standard. “It is high time the CBI trains its officials in a better manner so that all cases do not meet the same fate, since the dismissal of cases on the ground of lack of evidence violates the fundamental right of the accused, who had to face unnecessarily trauma of the case proceedings.”
CBI officials maintained that every case of acquittal is challenged by the agency before a higher court.