A day after Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Sushma Sinha and Arun Jaitley wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding that the decision regarding the appointment of Ranjit Sinha as CBI Director be "kept in abeyance", he alleged that BJP's criticism of the government was "instigated" by the "most undesirable rival" of Sinha.
The eminent lawyer's attack on his party was lapped up by government with Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari saying he rarely agrees with him and this was one such instance.
V Narayanasamy, Minister of State for Personnel, the administrative ministry for CBI, described BJP's criticism as "ill motivated".
Jethmalani, who only recently went public with his demand for the resignation of BJP President Nitin Gadkari, hailed the the government's decision saying, "for a change, (it) has averted national calamity".
"....I was astonished to read that the BJP has attacked the Prime Minister and the Congress party for what the party calls the fast tracked appointment of Mr. Ranjit Sinha as the Director of the CBI," the veteran Parliamentarian said in a letter addressed to BJP President Nitin Gadkari, copies of which were marked to the Prime Minister and the media.
"I regret that this criticism is a result of complete ignorance of relevant facts and has been instigated by a most undesirable rival who had to withdraw his petition before the CAT yesterday as a result of the appointment," Jethmalani said.
Swaraj and Jaitey had in their letter to the Prime Minister, the appointment of new CBI Director should not have been done when the Rajya Sabha Select Committee had recommended that such appointments should be done through a collegium.
The Prime Minister had rejected BJP's demand to hold in abeyance appointment of Sinha as CBI Director and termed as "unwarranted" insinuation the charge that the decision was to preempt the procedure recommended by the Select Committee on Lokpal.
In his letter, Jethmalani said "the rival has powerful friends everywhere who do not know what a disaster it would have been if he could manage to become Director of CBI in place of Mr. Sinha."
He said he would send to Gadkari documents to show how the government action "for a change, has averted a national calamity."
"I have to request you to ensure that these critics from our Party refrain from further comments till they know all the facts. I claim to know the facts from my own knowledge," he said.
Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar had approached the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) against the government's decision to not consider his name for the post of CBI Director but withdrew his application after the appointment of Sinha.
Kumar had moved the tribunal aggrieved over non-inclusion of his name among the three officers shortlisted by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) for being considered for the post of the next CBI Director.
Tewari told reporters in Chandigarh that Jethmalani has pointed the BJP in in the "correct direction". He said the appointment has been made in pursuance of the CVC act and extant rules and he was surprised the two Leaders of Opposition had "deliberately" chosen to ignore the statutes.
However, BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy maintained that the appointment of Sinha was "suspect" because the government was also committed to passing the new Lokpal Bill which talks of setting up a collegium for making appointments to posts like CBI director.
"We are not not talking about the individual but the process is suspect," he said adding against the backdrop of the consensus over the report on Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha Select Committee, the government should have acted in accordance with the new formulation.
New Delhi: Embarrassing BJP yet again, its senior MP Ram Jethmalani on Saturday attacked the party for criticising the appointment of new CBI Director and said the government's decision has "averted national calamity".
First Published: Saturday, November 24, 2012, 15:18