CBI, NIA, ED, IT Are No More Autonomous Bodies?

CBI, NIA, ED, Enforcement Directorate, IT Department, Income Tax, Central Agencies, BJP, Sanjay Raut, Raut, Varsha Raut, Swapna Patker, Shiv Sena

Whenever an opposition leader is raided or summoned by agencies like the Enforcement Directorate, BJP comes under attack. Since Modi took power many opposition leaders were raided, especially those who made noise against Modi or the party. Agencies like the Enforcement Directorate lost their credibility as they are increasingly being used in a political power game. IF we look at the series of raids since 2014, we will see only the opposition is raided or summoned and no ruling party leader is subjected to these inquiries. Rather the scams committed by BJP leaders are covered by all means. The importance of ED, CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) or the Income Tax Department is declining. Gone are the days when people believed the agency raids meant something serious offence, these days people translate it as a punishment given by the Modi government for speaking against them or not being part of their agenda. In recent times no one is ready to take these raids or summons seriously. Well, to the ED directives then the BJP and now NCP leader Eknath Khadse said he has some CD’s to play. And now Sanjay Raut is saying he has a file on BJP which contains 121 names and he would soon give it to the Enforcement Directorate. Raut’s wife Varsha Raut has to meet officials at the Mumbai office of the Enforcement Directorate on December 29. The agency is investigating alleged financial transactions between Varsha Raut and Pravin Raut, who is under arrest in the case. Pravin Raut is Sanjay Raut’s best friend and business partner too. Well, it would be too early to talk about Varsha Raut. Let her appear and let ED discover the wrongful participation if any.

Many politicians from almost all political parties have converted the cash into black wealth in the form of gold or Benami land holdings or foreign currencies or in stock exchanges. Even these are to be unearthed and hence the organizations of CBI, NIA, ED, IT, help to trace these illegal dealings. Many have been caught holding Benami land and property. Laluprasad and his family members are one prominent example. Rest all the leaders were arrested and bailed out due to insufficient evidence. Unfortunately, NDA came to power on the promises of honesty, transparency, and better performance, besides taking action against the Black Money. They called for demonetisation but no black money was traced. They claimed to bring back money deposited in Swiss banks, nothing that sort happened. All their claims and drill of proving opposition leaders corrupt gone in conduit. NDA’s first five-year term was somewhat scam-free, but people used to ask what actions were being taken against the culprits and how much black money has been brought back from the Swiss Bank. Then the Swiss Bank agreed to provide the names and other details and some high profile folks, with disproportionate assets, involved in money-laundering were supposed to be apprehended, as per the law of the land. But all this proved to be a jumla and BJP went random with attacks on whichever area they were contesting elections. Till the time they were in alliance with Shiv Sena, they did not find anything wrong. Just because Sena parted their ways, today all the so-called scams of Shiv Sena leaders are coming to the surface. If they were not wrong then, they should not be wrong now. If they were wrong then, in that case, BJP is equally wrong in mending their ways with corrupt political parties, be it Shiv Sena or NCP. BJP morally slipped in state and centre.

No one is likely to be discriminated against, targeted, or spared. Both of the institutions are run as Errand boys of the govt of the day, and they don’t reach justified conclusions. The cases are not closed, nor end, they are just kept pending, so that when arm twisting is to be done to gain political support, just open the files again. It happened in Subroto Roy’s case, Mayawati and bros case, Mulayam’s case, Devilal sons, and thousand such cases. The people in both these institutions are not saints, they might have made lots of illegal money, but the beauty is none of them have been caught and punished. The Supreme Court’s fall in the same bracket. All these institutions and heads are the final authorities and their judgements cannot be challenged. Money exchanges hands to get their protection, we have super-rich advocates on the panel and membership of all influential political parties and they are well protected. Basically, any political party (whether the BJP or the Congress) in power at centre and in the states automatically manage these independent institutions under its ambit in a bid to take revenge against the opposition by exposing its loopholes and gain sympathy among the masses for a vote bank in the next elections exhibiting its greatness. But the BJP has so much muscle and money power today than other parties that even by mistake it loses power in 2024 it would somehow or other manage to come out of the problem. Yes, the ED and the CBI institutions have become puppets completely under the present ruling govt when compared to the UPA govt and will not spare a person speaking against it (BJP) even if he’s honest or not and spare the fraudulent in supportive of it. Secondly, the persons posted to CBI at the lower and middle level have no experience of handling Economic offences like Bank Frauds and Tax fraud. These Inquiry Officials are mostly from the Central Para Military and they have no idea what economic rules Tax rules. Naturally, they again ask for experts from various departments to help them to understand the issue involved. Naturally, casualty comes out in the form of a 2G scam. All major scams are economic and they have failed it and they will fail always until they adopt more professionals from Various Revenue Services and Banking Company affairs etc. merely being empowered as Police officers will never help them to solve puzzles of Economic fraud. For example what they know about Special Economic Zone or Customs Export or Various Exports promotion Schemes. Further about the criminal offences the NIA is always there hence CBI needs a major overhaul of their areas of operations and mandate. Corruption and scams are not the prerogatives of a particular political party. The vyapam scam involving crores of rupees and mysterious deaths from Madhya Pradesh is an indication that BJP is different. Please note that the scams of the earlier government came to light and nationwide awareness was the result of enlightened non-political agencies and persons but never by the opposition or ruling parties.

The hunger strikes of Anna Hazare for the strict Lokpal bill shook the UPA government in regards to corruption and black money. But no one is yet booked or caught. Since the present regime is not a coalition (khichdi of different aspirations), the ministries appearing in the public are limited to only a handful and vigilant party functionaries are more powerful than the government vigilance, administrative machinery at least at the top is fearful, and it is been six years, so far nothing has come out except sporadic unfounded instances. The first term of the UPA was also like that! Absolute power and the blind support of the public embolden the ruling elite and the vested interests to shed the fear psychosis. And the apolitical institutions and the officers leaking the facts behind the curtain are inactive for obvious reasons. Let’s wish that the present government will not be mired under similar circumstances but nevertheless, public awareness is the only guarantee which at this juncture is high doctrine.