This is a joint statement by Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and Prashant Bhushan in response to the Supreme Court's December 14, 2018 verdict on the Rafale deal. All three were petitioners, along with a few others, in a batch of public interest litigation demanding a probe by a joint parliamentary committee into the Rafale deal, wherein 36 Rafale fighter jets were bought instead of 126 aircrafts as per the earlier deal, a decision taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself, much like his choice of offset partner in Anil Ambani's brand new defence company.
Having noticed this huge lacuna in the general public’s understanding and awareness of the RTI Act, The Leaflet will be running a weekly column on it, in an attempt to make Indian citizens more aware about the myriad uses of the Act, thereby encouraging its wider application in holding various government departments accountable and transparent in their functioning as well as decision-making process.
The Counsels submitted that only the Statutory Committee appointing the CBI Director can tweak the otherwise two-year fixed term of the CBI Director, as per Section 4B(1) of DSPE Act, 1946. The Counsels in the case were Fali Nariman for Alok Verma, Dushyant Dave for NGO Common Cause, Kapil Sibal for Mallikarjun Kharge, Rajeev Dhavan for AK Bassi and Indira Jaising for M K Sinha, while Attorney General KK Venugopal represented DoPT, Government of India.
Advocate Sunil Fernandes, on behalf of Manish Kumar Sinha IPS, DIG (Head of Branch), CBI, Anti-Corruption Branch, Nagpur, Maharashtra approached the Supreme Court pleading that Sinha’s transfer is arbitrary, motivated and mala fide, made solely with the purpose and intent to victimise the officer as the investigation revealed cogent evidence against certain powerful persons. Sinha demanded a Supreme Court `monitored SIT probe in the FIR against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana, while also adding the the evidence in the FIR against Rakesh Asthana as well as the call records and messages on mobile phones on IO Devender Sharma be preserved, and his transfer be nullified.
CJI Ranjan Gogoi categorised the CVC report as: (1) very complimentary to petitioner on some charges, (2) not complimentary to some charges, (3) not very complimentary to some charges and (4) further probe required in some charges. CJI Gogoi also informed that Justice Patnaik had said that findings in CVC report are not by him. He has just supervised the probe as directed by the Court.
Like Dassault, Ambani’s companies are also indebted and defaulters. Is it an agreement to meet their losses and defaults by looting the public money? Both Dassault and Ambani’s firm are sharing the loot of public money. Hence the only way out is to totally cancel the deal. Dassault and Anil Ambani are beneficiaries of the loot, of which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the chief catalyst.
The apex court has reserved the judgment on a clutch of four Public Interest Litigations filed by six persons, namely — the first two by Advocates M L Sharma and Vineet Danda, a third by AAP MLA Sanjay Singh, and the last one jointly filed by former finance minister Yashwant Sinha, former telecom minister Arun Shourie and lawyer Prashant Bhushan.
The Commission has also called for the action taken report from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Office of the Finance Minister on a letter dated February 5, 2015 written by the former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding “a list of high profile fraud cases of non-performing assets and requested for coordinated investigation into the matter”.
This nomination took place at a time when Justice Goel still had a week to demit his office as a judge of the Supreme Court. The letter written by the then CJI Misra to the Union Minister of Law and Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad, also reveals that Justice Goel had verbally conveyed to the then CJI, his willingness to accept the post-retirement assignment.
A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, and K M Joseph has agreed to examine the legality of the order passed by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on October 23, 2018, whereby Alok Kumar Verma had been divested of his powers, function and duties as CBI Director in respect of cases already registered and /or required to be registered and/or being inquired/enquired /investigation under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
Why was there a tearing hurry in sending the Alok Verma on leave without placing the CVC recommendation for the consideration by the selection committee? Law does not envisage even the transfer of the CBI director without the consent of the committee, let alone sending him on the leave unilaterally at the behest of just the Executive.
This order has come on an appeal filed by RTI applicant and Indian Forest Service officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi who sought regarding corruption charges against Cabinet Minsters/IAS officers etc. including details of various projects such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Skill India’, ‘Swachh Bharat’and ‘Smart City Project’, etc. from the PMO.