Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Central Bureau of Investigation director Ranjit Sinha has stoked a controversy with his comment that the UPA government would "have been very happy" if former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah had been named in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.
In an interview to a newspaper on Friday, Sinha, however, said that the CBI investigated the case fairly.
"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," the newspaper quoted Sinha as saying.
Asked why Shah could not be nailed, Sinha said: "There were some doubts, but that was not enough to amount to evidence. Clearing Shah is testimony to the fact that it is a fair and thorough investigation."
The CBI chief later told a news channel that he was misquoted by the newspaper and said there was no pressure on the investigating agency, and the chargesheet was filed after due diligence.
Sinha`s comments have evoked sharp reactions from the Congress and Janata Dal (United).
While the Congress dubbed Sinha`s comments as unfortunate, the JD(U) said the “parrot has gone mad”. The Supreme Court had last year termed the CBI as a "caged parrot with many masters".
On Thursday, the CBI had charged former Special Director of Intelligence Bureau Rajinder Kumar with murder and criminal conspiracy in the 2004 encounter case, while accusing three other serving officers of criminal conspiracy and other offences but left out Amit Shah, a close aide of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who was under the scanner in the case.
Nearly a decade after Ishrat was murdered along with her friend Javed Sheikh, alias Pranesh Pillai, in Gujarat and two others, believed to be Pakistani nationals, the CBI filed a supplementary chargesheet naming Kumar, who was Joint Director of IB posted in Gujarat at that time.