Vinay Kumar

Joint prosecution against the accused planned

Refutes charges of political manipulation

NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation is likely to complete the second part of its investigations into the Rs. 7300-crore Satyam scam by the end of September-October.

Thereafter, the agency plans to launch joint prosecution against the accused in an exclusive special court being created for this purpose, CBI Director Ashwani Kumar has said.

Lauding the work done by the officers of the Multi Disciplinary Investigation Team constituted at Hyderabad to probe the Satyam scam, Mr. Kumar said. The team included chartered accountants, income tax, SEBI and bank officers, forensic accounting experts along with lawyers and completed part one of the probe within 45 days, he noted.

Apart from the corporate frauds like Satyam, the agency had also focussed its attention on specific areas of corruption and malfeasance.

“After completing our probe in cooperative housing scam cases of Delhi on the orders of the Delhi High Court, we have now unearthed high level corruption in the ordnance factories board of the Defence Ministry. The corruption in AICTE and Protectorate of Emigrants directly affect large sections of students and lower strata of individuals seeking emigration outside the country,” he said.

In a statement after inaugurating a media hut at the CBI headquarters here on Saturday, Mr. Kumar vowed to turn the CBI into a world class organisation in the near future. He said the first step would be to come up to the expectations of the government, parliament, judiciary, media and the people.

Stressing that the CBI’s role was to investigate and prosecute criminals and the corrupt, he said it was not the agency’s duty to either punish the accused or declare him guilty as the scrutiny of evidence and conviction was the responsibility of the courts.

On allegations that the CBI conducted its probe or prosecutions “stealthily at the behest of the ruling party or the government in power,” the CBI chief said the agency carried out its investigations as per rules, norms and procedures.

Emphasising that “nobody can hide the truth,” he said it was a “myth to say that the CBI works at the behest of the powers that be.” Mr. Kumar said the agency’s work “is transparent and truthful” and is being monitored by various courts, and agencies like the Central Vigilance Commission, Ministries, Departments and the media.

“It is difficult to understand how the CBI can still be accused of conducting investigations at the behest of someone. If there is any element of truth in this allegation then we need to have a re-look at our entire system of reporting and monitoring,” he said.

Action plan

He said the CBI had prepared an annual action plan, defining its priorities, at the beginning of the year and given it to all its officers for implementation. He said the CBI aimed to wrap up all investigations within one year.

The agency had provided laptops and mobile phones to all its investigating and prosecuting officers. “We have constituted investigation and prosecution teams in the branches and zones replacing the one-man, single investigating officer, single prosecutor [system] and these teams will ensure internal transparency and quicker disposal,” he said.

Mr. Kumar said the CBI had little control over the conduct of proceedings in court.

“Trials, their speed and disposal largely depend on the examination of witnesses, cooperation of defence counsels, court procedures and the Judge,” he added.

Hoping to “re-engineer the structure and the working methodology” of the agency, Mr. Kumar said the CBI would soon send a proposal to the government for filling up all the vacancies.