A newspaper report quoted him as saying that the UPA government “would have been very happy” if Amit Shah had been charged in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case
CBI Director Ranjit Sinha has denied a newspaper report on Saturday quoting him as saying that the UPA government “would have been very happy” if the former Gujarat Home Minister, Amit Shah, a close aide of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, was named as an accused in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.
According to the report, Mr. Sinha vouched for the fairness of the investigation into the alleged fake encounter, adding that: “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.”
Denying that he had made any such remark, a CBI spokesperson issued a statement: “The Director CBI has been quoted unfairly and completely out of context. The CBI is an impartial and an apolitical organisation. In the Ishrat Jahan case, the CBI has done a fair investigation to the best of its ability.”
The CBI Director said there was no pressure from the Central government to charge Mr. Shah in the case. The agency had filed a supplementary charge sheet against a former and three serving Intelligence Bureau officials this past week.
Although Mr. Shah was questioned in connection with the alleged fake encounter case, he was not named as an accused in the charge sheet.
The BJP found ammunition against the Congress-led UPA government in the wake of Mr. Sinha’s purported remark. Party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman told the media: “It is a very important statement coming from the CBI Director. There was no prosecutable evidence even three years ago in the Sohrabuddin case. The CBI obliged Congress-led UPA in its attempt to target the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, by charging and targeting Amit Shah.”
While Congress leaders termed the statement unfortunate, stating that the agency enjoyed autonomy, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav criticised the CBI Director.
“Never before has any CBI Director given a statement relating to political parties. This is happening for the first time,” he said, adding that the agency chief should act as per law. Sabir Ali, another JD (U) leader, demanded Mr. Sinha’s resignation.