OTHERS

Fodder scam accused questions impartiality of probe

PATNA, SEPT. 2. Almost four years after the fodder scam case surfaced and the investigation nearing closure, a senior IAS officer, Mr. K. Arumugam, one of the accused in the case, has questioned the impartiality of the probe by the CBI and the IT department and that of the monitoring bench of the Patna High Court.

Mr. Arumugam has in his 130-page complaint addressed to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Mr. Justice A. S. Anand, has prayed for an enquiry into the omissions and commissions of not only the two Judges of the monitoring bench, but also officials of the CBI and the Income Tax Department, with respect to the investigation into the multi-crore fradulent withdrawal scam.

Mr. Arumugam released copies of his letter to the press after informing the Registrar General of the apex court of his decision to do so. He charged that the bench had put the credibility and dignity of the court at stake and the officials of the two agencies were abusing their power and violating human rights.

Mr. Arumugam, former Secretary of the Animal Husbandry department, charged that the division bench, comprising Mr. Justice S. N. Jha and S. J. Mukhopadhyaay, had failed to restrain the partisan and harassment-oriented investigation and granted undue encouragement and protection to the CBI Joint Director, Dr. U. N. Biswas, in violation of the Supreme Court's order.

The letter alleged that the objective was to nail only a certain set of politicians and officials including with the former Chief Minister, Mr. Laloo Prasad Yadav. He wondered why the Judges had meddled with the execution of arrest warrant against Mr. Yadav and ordered army intervention when the matter pertained to the designated court which had issued the non-bailable arrest warrants. He also pointed out that the monitoring bench had not taken interest in putting pressure on the CBI to get all the other accused arrested, most of whom are still at large.Mr. Arumugam alleged that the functioning of various courts was impaired by extraneous circumstances and delay in the disposal of bail petitions both at the lower and the High Court levels. He pointed to the death of a tribal officer even as his bail petition was pending disposal by the CBI designated court.

Mr. Arumugam has appended the condolence message adopted by the inmates of the Patna central jail, Beur, which held the CBI and the lower court responsible for death of Mr. Ashok Kumar Tudu, who had collapsed inside the court room when he was produced. He also referred to the suicide committed by one of the accused following his torture by the CBI.

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