Bribery case a conspiracy, won’t resign: Buta Singh

Buta Singh described the bribery allegations against his son as a conspiracy and refused to resign.

Last Updated: Jul 31, 2009, 23:35 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Former Union minister Buta Singh on Friday described the bribery allegations against his son as a “conspiracy” against him, saying a Maharashtra-based political party was behind the entire incident.

Buta Singh, chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, called it a political conspiracy but refused to name the people behind it.

Claiming innocence for his son, Buta Singh said Patil was the biggest builder mafia in Maharashtra and that he tried to set up his son on instructions from the political party, which he did not name.

On being asked about him stepping down from his post following the charges against his son Buta Singh said, “I am not a great moralist but I won’t resign in this case…why I should resign. I am a constitutional head and will act as per Constitution. My judgement is correct. (If I resign) I will be giving into the (design of) a top criminal of the country".”
Raising questions about the CBI probe in the case he asked, “The CBI never probes without the recommendation of the state government but in this case, they have started the probe after an ordinary citizen filed a complaint.” He further claimed that words were being put into CBI’s mouth.

"I don`t want to comment on CBI. I know CBI very well. CBI has been used against me and my family. They are made to say things against us," Buta Singh added.

“When CBI contacted I offered them help and did not defend my son though I trust him that he cannot do this,” he added.

“During the interrogation against Ramrao Patil all the conservancy workers had told about Patil’s acts and how he took Rs 10 cr loan in their names,” Buta Singh said.

Patil is a major shareholder in the co-operative bank from where he took loan.

“This is not the first time that my family is being targeted in a case. Earlier when I took over as Bihar Governor accusations were made against my elder son.”

Talking about Patil’s dark past Buta Singh denied talking to him and said that he knew about his wrongdoings and even asked the CBI to probe the matter but they refused.

“I even offered them help to nab him but they asked me to talk to Mumbai Police. There are as many as 12 cases are pending against, Ramarao Patil, the person who is accusing my son. Even the Supreme Court had called him big time criminal,” he stated.

"I would meet Prime Minister to explain my position,” he added.
Meanwhile, CBI sources have been quoted as saying that they have enough proof against Buta Singh’s son, including his phone records.

On the other hand, Congress sources have said that Buta Singh is not a part of the party and they have nothing to do with him.

Buta’s son Sarabjot alias Sweety Singh was placed under arrest by the anti-corruption wing of the CBI early Friday, after he was caught allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 1 crore from a Nashik-based civil works contractor Ramrao Patil on Thursday.

Reports even said today quoting sources that Sarabjot has admitted to his involvement in the bribery scam. He had earlier claimed innocence, saying it was a conspiracy against him and that he was being framed.

According to CBI sources, the corruption case against Sarabjot involves a complaint filed by Ramrao Patil.

Patil had alleged in his complaint that Sarabjot had demanded a bribe of Rs 3 crore, which was later brought down to Rs 1 crore, for withdrawal of a case under the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, filed against Patil by a group of local conservancy workers employed by him.

Patil is a contractor with Nashik Municipal Corporation. Around 100 of the conservancy workers employed by him filed the case as he was allegedly not paying them their wages and had taken a bank loan of Rs 10 crore in their name.

Sarabjot, reported to be in touch with the aggrieved conservancy workers, approached Patil with an offer to withdraw the case against him in return for Rs 3 crore, the investigators alleged.

After some haggling, Patil promised to cough up Rs 1 crore but also informed the CBI about Sarabjot’s alleged demand.

Patil has even claimed that Sarabjot was acting on the behalf of his father Buta Singh, who is the chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

In the wake of the arrest, the opposition is calling for Buta Singh`s resignation from the Commission.

Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde said, "Buta Singh must resign immediately.