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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Kalikho Pul note: Cautious Centre says can’t besmirch reputations by ordering probe

Asked if the Centre had ordered any probe to verify the authenticity of the purported note, the functionary replied in the negative.

Written by Maneesh Chhibber | New Delhi | Published: February 24, 2017 5:55:02 am
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Even as the Supreme Court Thursday allowed former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho’s Pul’s widow to withdraw her plea for registration of an FIR and investigation into a note purportedly written by her husband before he committed suicide on August 9 last year, the Centre has decided to adopt a “cautious wait-and-watch” attitude in the matter.

Sources in the government, privy to high-level discussions on the issue, told The Indian Express that the Centre — Pul’s widow has sought the Prime Minister’s intervention in the issue — is of the opinion that this is a “very sensitive issue” and that “nothing would be gained by jumping the gun”.

“We have decided to be cautious since the issue is very sensitive. We will wait and watch before taking any decision, if any, in the matter. We don’t think it would do any good to anybody, especially institutions like the judiciary, if we jumped the gun,” a top functionary said.

Asked if the Centre had ordered any probe to verify the authenticity of the purported note, the functionary replied in the negative. “Where is the need to do so at this juncture? There are many questions that need to be answered before any cognizance can be taken of the note. First of all, is this a suicide note? Is it written anywhere in the note that he (Pul) is committing suicide due to whatever he is alleging in it? It is my personal opinion that this is part of a covert effort to shake the judiciary and destroy the credibility of some senior judges,” he said.

Another senior functionary disclosed that there has been “some informal discussion” on the issue in the higher echelons of the government but it was felt that there was “no substantive evidence to merit government intervention at this stage”.

“You can’t expect the government to order a probe against senior members of the judiciary — present and former — and political figures, including those holding Constitutional posts on such grounds. Such a probe will only tarnish the image of the institution and embarrass those holding important positions without achieving anything,” said this functionary.

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