Tuesday, August 5, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

PM denies interference in CBI probe into Babri case
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 4
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today categorically asserted that the government was not interfering in any way in the investigation into the Ayodhya case by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

“The government has mere administrative control over the CBI, which has full freedom to do any kind of investigation into the case,” Mr Vajpayee told the Rajya Sabha while replying to a short duration discussion on the role of investigating agencies in the Ayodhya case.

“I can say with conviction that no instruction had been issued to the CBI,” he said while replying to a three-hour discussion.

Asserting that the government wanted the culprits to be punished and the innocents acquitted, Mr Vajpayee said it was the job of courts to decide what were the evidences and who were the guilty.

The agency had been handling the case right from 1993 and at no point of time was there any kind of pressure or interference from the NDA government in the investigation. The CBI was free to take any action or decision. It was up to the agency to deal with the allegations and evidences in its possession, he said.

“Neither I nor the PMO has interfered in the case or with the CBI functioning. The CBI was totally free to chalk out its course,” the he repeated.

The Prime Minister expressed unhappiness over the manner in which the Opposition was using the Parliament to judge the case. The Opposition members were questioning the working of the investigative agencies without knowing the full facts, he added.

He urged them to desist from such practice.

Mr Vajpayee said there was no change in the government stand on the Ayodhya issue — that it be either resolved through negotiations or court verdict. He added he had never said that the temple would be constructed at the disputed site in his statement at the cremation of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas chief Paramhans Ramchandra Das on August 1.

The Prime Minister said neither he nor anybody from the government made any inflamatory speech at the cremation of the mahant. The atmosphere was sad and it was no occasion to make any inflamatory speech as reported in the media.

All that he had said was that it would be a tribute to the departed soul to construct a temple, a cause for which the mahant had strived throughout his life, Mr Vajpayee said. “What is objectionable in it,” he asked.

Earlier, initiating the discussion, Mr Kapil Sibal (Congress) alleged that the “nexus” between the accused and the investigation agencies had been going on at the “highest level”, contrary to the promise made by the NDA to the people that it would uphold the integrity of the premier investigation agency.

The agency, he alleged, was “dragging” its feet in Ayodhya because the Deputy Prime Minister was involved and that was the reason why it did not present the tapes in its possession before the trial court at Rae Bareli.

Only six of the 29 tapes were presented before the court, he alleged. The agency had also pruned the list of witnesses from 700 to a mere 49, he added. The Congress leader said withholding the evidence was a criminal offence.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |