Ready to be questioned by CBI: Buta Singh

An unfazed Buta Singh on Saturday said that he is ready to be questioned by CBI in the bribery scam.

Updated: Aug 01, 2009, 22:59 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Amidst indications that the CBI may question him in connection with his son’s alleged involvement in a bribery scam, an unfazed Buta Singh on Saturday said that he is ready to be questioned by the investigating agency.

Earlier, addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Buta, who is the Chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe and a former Union minister, said, “I am ready to be questioned by the CBI if proper procedure is followed.”

He said he had “informed the police of this political conspiracy against me but no action was taken.” Elaborating on the issue he said that when it came to his notice that some people were approaching his children he wrote to the Police Commissioner but instead of acting on the complaint he acted against me.

"The Commission will go to higher courts with the complaint that the commission`s functioning is being intervened.... The CBI has acted on the complaint of an accused but not the commission," Buta Singh added. He also said that he would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to apprise him of the "facts" of the case.

He expressed ignorance about what transpired between his son and other accused.

On the alleged confession by his son stating that Buta was aware of the Rs 1 crore bribe, the former minister said that “it is possible that my son has confessed under duress”. He also refused to step down from his post saying, “Why should I resign when I hold a constitutional post.”

Earlier in the day, reports said that CBI was planning to question Buta Singh following the reported confession of his son Sarabjot Singh in the bribery case.

Sources said that Sarabjot Singh had told the CBI after his arrest, that he had informed his father about `settling`` the complaint against Nashik civic works contractor Ram Rao Patil, that had been lodged with the National Commission for Scheduled castes.

The CBI has said that they need constitutional sanction to question Buta Singh, and once that is given, they plan to invoke Section 7 and 9 of the Prevention against Corruption Act (PCI) against the former minister.

CBI forms 5 teams

In order to probe the hawala angle in the bribery scam, the CBI today formed five teams to identify the hawala agent involved in the scam.

The teams will go to Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nasik and Bangalore to conduct their investigations.

The investigating agency is expected to inquire if Buta knew about his son fixing the deal. The CBI is reported to have details of the phone calls made from the former minister’s landline phone.

According to reports, the investigators had been intercepting Sarabjot’s telephone conversations with several alleged Hawala operators for the past 12 days. The tracking began following Patil’s complaint to the Anti-Corruption Bureau of the CBI that Sarabjot had demanded a bribe to close a case against him.

Sarabjot was detained on Thursday and subsequently placed under arrest on Friday by the CBI for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 1 crore from Patil, to close a case against him in the Commission. He is alleged to have told the contractor that he will "finish off" the case as his father was the chairperson of the Commission.

Sarabjot was later in the day produced before a court and sent to CBI custody till August 5 along with three other persons.