CBI SP T Rajah Balaji, who was recently transferred out of Delhi by interim CBI Director M Nageswara Rao, has accused him of “abuse of official position” and acting out of “malice and prejudice” because he had complained about Rao’s “misconduct” to the then director in March, 2017.
In a letter written to Rao on January 22, the day following his transfer from Anti-Corruption Branch in Delhi to CBI Academy in Ghaziabad, Balaji has alleged that his posting in Delhi had been made “on humanitarian grounds” on account of his mother-in-law suffering from cancer and receiving treatment at AIIMS. He has said it was on this ground that the government had even given him accommodation in East Kidwai Nagar, a government colony close to the hospital.
Balaji has also approached the Supreme Court with a petition challenging his transfer, sources said. The petition, sources said, also has evidence against the interim director.
“You know better than me that you are not a man of honour,” Balaji has said in the letter, further requesting the interim director to “redeem” himself.
Quoting Shakespeare, Balaji has said, “‘There is some soul of goodness in things evil/ Would men observingly distill it out.’ I readily admit I do not have the intelligence to ‘distill’ good out of you. But I urge you to search your heart and recall this fact: you bear, or think you bear, an animosity to me, not to an ailing old woman. I request you on purely humanitarian grounds in the hope that you can truly make a start to redeem your humanity. It is never late in life to become a good man again. Trust me. Trust the better part of your heart.”
Recalling that he had been transferred four times in the past two years, Balaji has said that his last transfer (before the current one) was on his own request to Delhi ACB on August 1, 2018. He said the transfer request was granted so as to enable his wife to be “better placed to provide care to her mother, who is a cancer patient at AIIMS, Delhi”.
Detailing his allegations against Rao, Balaji has said in the letter, “It is a known fact that I had complained about your misconduct to the then Director, CBI, vide letter dated March 11, 2017, and subsequently, when you had served me with a Memo, your misconduct was set put in more explicit terms by me vide letter dated May 2, 2017. Now, you have abused your official position to service your personal sleepless malice and prejudice against me at the expense of institutional and public interest.”
He has further reminded the interim director that the post of the Director cannot be used for purposes other than institutional and public interest.
Balaji was earlier posted in Chennai and then Bangalore when Nageswara Rao was heading the Chennai zone as joint director. He has also been associated with investigations of key cases which include the Madhumita Shukla murder case and the Mecca Masjid blast case of Hyderabad. In Bangalore, he was looking after bank fraud cases.
Balaji has also raised objections to mass transfers being carried out within the CBI by the interim director following the ouster of Alok Verma on January 10. He has said that when the select committee was in the process of appointing a new director, as interim director Rao should have focussed on only necessary transfers on rational grounds. “As the director-in-charge, it is incumbent upon you not to go on a mass transfer spree of officers from joint director level to additional SP level,” Balaji has said.
Since taking charge, Rao has effected close to 40 transfers in a matter of days. The agency has been selling the exercise to the media as a process to “cleans and purge” the agency but has not been forthcoming on any details on what the agency is cleaning itself of. No reasons have been given by the agency as yet on why these officers were transferred and what are the charges against them.
Balaji has said that the mass transfers, effected on January 21, were plain “irrational” because as interim director, Rao had carried out “no review or inspection of the branches” to enable him “to know why such mass transfers are necessary”.
Responding to his letter, a press statement issued by the CBI said that the letter submitted by Balaji about his transfer has not been received by the Office of Director, CBI, so far. It also stated that proper action will be taken as and when the letter is received.