Eminent lawyer Prashant Bhushan on Monday countered the Prime Minister’s assertions at the opening of a three-day international conference organised by the CBI as part of its golden jubilee celebrations, saying: “Since the PMO’s decision is under CBI scrutiny, it was not appropriate for the Prime Minister to make such a statement. It may put undue pressure on the CBI…He means to say that the provision against criminal conduct should be not there. It was introduced because it is very difficult to prove that someone has given bribe. Therefore, in cases where largesse is given away without good reason or public interest, the provision presumes a bad motive.”

However, senior lawyer Rakesh Tiku said: “If there is prima facie evidence mandating probe following a preliminary inquiry, it requires registration of a regular case. If the decision is taken by a competent authority independently, it only reflects need to prove the allegation and does not mean guilt. Just because the allegation of criminal misconduct is made does not mean that bribe has been taken. An acquisition within a given set of facts and time frame has to be established during trial.”

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