Jaitley demands SIT probe into Virbhadra graft charges

This case obviously cannot be investigated by the CBI.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: October 17, 2012 12:37 am

Alleging that the Congress wanted to “hush up” the revelations of alleged payments made by a steel firm to Steel Ministry functionaries,including one ‘VBS’,during the tenure of Virbhadra Singh as the minister,the BJP has pressed for a probe by a special investigation team and not the CBI.

“The Congress has nor answered any of the logical questions emanating from the explosive books of accounts of Ispat Limited pointing fingers at the whole Steel Ministry apparatus. The fact remains that the Congress government wanted to hush up the matter as it would have boomeranged on them,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said on Tuesday.

The BJP has rejected the denial of Singh,who is leading the Congress’s campaign in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh,claiming that there is ample “admissible evidence” for initiating legal action against him. “These are regular books of accounts maintained in the regular course of business and are a relevant evidence (Section 34 of the Evidence Act). The veracity of these cannot be disputed since they were seized in a tax raid. These books reflect a criminal conspiracy between a bribe-giver and a bribe-taker. If payments are being made to Steel Ministry officials and its PSUs under the CMD account,it is not difficult for any investigator to decipher the identity of ‘VBS’,” Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said in a statement issued on Monday.

Singh had earlier claimed that he writes his initials as ‘VS’ and not ‘VBS’. The BJP insisted that the probe be undertaken by a SIT and not the CBI. “This case obviously cannot be investigated by the CBI. The diaries contain an entry of expenses spent by the corporate group on the CBI and ED. This is a fit case where the legal process has to be set in motion and be referred to an SIT team consisting of officers of unquestionable integrity,” said Jaitley.

“It is a corruption issue. It is obvious that the government tried to conceal facts. Truth is difficult to be suppressed,it leaks itself out. What is the Prime Minister going to do now? Is he going to add to the environment of negativity by looking the other way and ignore facts? Were these facts known to him and the Congress president when they took certain decisions with regard to Congress party’s organisational changes in Himachal Pradesh?,” he asked.

He rejected Virbhadra Singh’s allegation that the BJP was behind the entire affair. “Neither the BJP nor any of its member prepared these books of accounts. It was the Income Tax department which raided the company. These documents are in the possession of the I-T department since December 2010. Only they could have leaked these,” said Jaitley.

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