Congress slams IO's transfer, demands CBI probe in drugs case
Congress on Saturday alleged political expediency behind the move to transfer the investigating officer who interrogated Punjab Minister Bikram Majithia and demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention for a probe by CBI or a Supreme Court judge into the drug scam.
New Delhi: Congress on Saturday alleged political expediency behind the move to transfer the investigating officer who interrogated Punjab Minister Bikram Majithia and demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention for a probe by CBI or a Supreme Court judge into the drug scam.
Attacking Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP, Punjab Congress chief Pratap Singh Bajwa today wrote to Modi slamming the "conspiracy to hush up this narco-terrorism racket by the ruling powers" and sought transfer of the case outside the state as well as immediate revocation of the order shunting out IO Niranjan Singh.
Bajwa linked the transfer decision to the questioning of Majithia in the multi-crore drugs scam probe, noting that he is the brother-in-law of the Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and had also "spearheaded the electoral campaign of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley from Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency".
Majithia has maintained that all allegations related to the drug racket are "baseless and without evidence".
Bajwa in his letter to the PM alleged that the IO, who interrogated Majithia -- the brother of Union Minister Harsimrat Badal, has been transferred out from Punjab days before the filing of the charge sheet in this case.
"It is abundantly clear that the reasons for transferring him from Punjab are purely on account of political expediency and convenience.... It is most unfortunate that the rule of law is being sacrificed at the altar of political expediency especially in view of the fact that your party requires the support of the SAD-Badal for the forthcoming Delhi elections," he said.
"I would urge you, in national interest, and for the sake of the future generations of this country, to revoke the transfer orders of the investigating officer Niranjan Singh and immediately transfer the money laundering investigation by the Enforcement Directorate in the Jagdish Singh Bhola synthetic drug racket case to outside the state of Punjab to enable a free, fair and independent investigation.
"I would further request you that the investigation into drug racket should be transferred to CBI or handed over to a sitting Judge of Supreme Court for time bound investigations," Bajwa said in his letter to Modi.
The Congress leader reminded Modi of his intent to free the country from the menace of drugs and referred to his "mann ki baat' programme in which he raised the issue some time back.
Congress leader Manish Tewari said the transfer order is "extremely disturbing and regrettable development".
"It raises obvious eyebrows. In the past, the Supreme Court insulated officers who were engaged in sensitive investigations and this insulation has gone across the spectrum. Therefore, if this officer was engaged in a very sensitive investigation, he should not have been transferred in the first place," he said.
Tewari said the Finance Minister should clarify on the issue as the Akali Dal and BJP are in alliance in Punjab.