CBI note to Rlys triggers ‘vendetta’ stormhttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/cbi-note-to-rlys-triggers-vendetta-storm/

CBI note to Rlys triggers ‘vendetta’ storm

RPF Association head,who complained against CBI chief,says he’s being targeted; agency denies charge

The CBI on Wednesday issued a statement denying charges that it was targeting railway officials who had leveled allegations of corruption and misconduct against its chief Ranjit Sinha when he was the director-general,RPF,and were supposedly instrumental in his ouster from the post two years ago.

At the centre of the controversy is a notice the CBI sent to the Railway Ministry in April,alerting about the head of the RPF Association occupying three government accommodations,violating rules.

Sources said the security directorate of the Railway Board has decided to cancel some of the accommodations after an inquiry.

Although the CBI in its statement said that sharing such information was a normal practice,there is speculation in some quarters of the Railways that the probe agency was indulging in vendetta against the head of the RPF Association,U S Jha,who had in the past complained against Sinha.

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“Sharing of such information regarding misuse of public money for necessary action by the concerned department is a normal practice and duty of the CBI. Allegations of impropriety/vendetta by any officer of the CBI is completely misplaced,incorrect and baseless,” the CBI statement said.

The acrimony between Sinha Jha is well known in the Railways. Jha is a known supporter of Nitish Kumar who had accorded formal recognition to the RPF Association during his tenure as railways minister,although the Home Ministry had reportedly advised against it. Sinha,on the other hand,was once considered close to Nitish’s political adversary Lalu Prasad.

Jha had leveled serious allegations against Sinha to Railway Vigilance in 2011 — four months before Sinha was sent out of the Railways without a posting. Prior to that,Jha had also written to the then railways minister Mamata Banerjee,leveling the same allegations in April 2010. The complaints against Sinha mainly alleged quid pro quo over transfers and postings within RPF although they were never proved.

Jha’s attack on Sinha did not end even after the ouster. In August 2012,he wrote to the Central Vigilance Commission,alleging that those in the RPF known to be “yes men” of Sinha — the then DG of the ITBP — were “publicising” that Sinha was to become the CBI Director in a few months.

“For the past one month,his Yes Men in the RPF who were working as brokers to collect bribe for Sinha have been publicising in the RPF that Sinha is to be appointed as Director/CBI and then all those who had complained against him would be made to face dire consequences,” Jha’s letter to the CVC said.

When contacted,Sinha refused to comment.

Jha told The Indian Express he would send the complaints against Sinha to the PMO and to the CVC again and will file a defamation suit against Sinha. “We are being targeted,” he alleged.

Jha said he has only one government-allotted house and the other two are registered offices of the association and its Northern Railway unit.

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