20 January, 2021

Free Of Strings...The Noose Tightens

As the judiciary grants the CBI unsolicited freedom from the Prime Minister's control and acts on the chargesheets against tainted politicians, the hawala trial begins in earnest

Free Of Strings...The Noose Tightens
THE hawala case has finally moved into top gear. The Supreme Court delivered a momentous order, freeing the CBI from the administrative control of Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, and CBI special judge V.B. Gupta took cognizance of the chargesheets against nine top politicians, including BJP President L.K. Advani, and issued non bailable arrest warrants against them. Although most of the nine accused subsequently managed to get bail, the import of Gupta's order cannot be missed. The trial can now be said to have actually begun.

However, it is the Supreme Court order to the CBI which is likely to have the bigger impact on the case. The catalyst was a petition by Prashant Bhushan, Rajinder Puri and others, and the reference of amicus curiae Anil Diwan to uncontroverted media reports relating to the prime accused S.K. Jain's claims of having met the Prime Minister nine times and paid him over Rs 3 crore. The Supreme Court division bench headed by Justice J.S. Verma felt it was necessary to free the CBI from the Prime Minister's charge "to eliminate any...



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